When it comes to super sexualised campaigns, American giants Abercrombie & Fitch have got it down to a fine art. They feature all American, generally wholesome looking models scantily clad and posed in provocative and some may say ‘raunchy’ positions. The brand was founded in 1892 by David Abercrombie and Ezra Fitch. Originally an elite outfitter of sporting and excursion goods like shotguns, fishing equipment and tents, they’re now more known for campus style and mid-teen fashions.
As mentioned, the brand is well known for racy marketing photography, generally shot by renowned photographer Bruce Weber. Bruce has worked with A&F for years, and has a lot of experience of men in underwear- he’s also shot for Calvin Klein! A pairing like this would surely culminate in risque, boundary pushing ads, and that’s exactly what they achieved. The models themselves are actually Abercrombie & Fitch employees- the brand is infamous for choosing only the best looking individuals to represent their stores. Famous faces like Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford, Jamie ‘Mr Christian Grey’ Dornan and Magic Mike’s Channing Tatum have all modelled for Abercrombie at some point in their careers.
For some time the brand image was heavily promoted as an international near-luxury lifestyle concept, they used high-grade materials in the construction of the clothing, and priced them at an equally high price. The brand appeals to a very specific demographic, usually late teens to late twenties, athletic with a fair bit of wedge spare at the end of the month. While they are very similar to competitors like Jack Wills and American Apparel in England, in American they’re one of the best selling and most recognise brands.
Abercrombie coined the term ‘Casual Luxury’ which the brand suggested had many connotations. From using the finest cashmere, pima cottons and quality leathers to producing the finest denim, quality manufacturing and more, aswell as of course, allowing customers to buy into the Abercrombie world that the brand creates through imagery.
Ex CEO of the brand Mike Jeffries called the A&F image a “movie” because of the “fantasy” that plays out instore. “You buy into the emotional experience of a movie,” Jeffries explains, “And that’s what we’re creating. Here I am walking into a movie, and I say, ‘What’s going to be at the box office today”. Sometimes, however, Jeffries vision was a little skewed, and he landed himself and Abercrombie in hot water in 2013 when he suggested that not everyone can buy the brand, just the “cool kids”. This resulted in an uproar around the world and a little over a year later, Jeffries left the brand.
SO, WHETHER YOU BUY INTO THE PREPPY, ALL-AMERICAN VIBE OR NOT, YOU’VE GOT TO ADMIT, THE ABERCROMBIE & FITCH AD CAMPAIGNS ARE PRETTY GREAT TO LOOK AT. ENJOY!