Ten years ago, I thought Abercrombie & Fitch stores were heaven on earth. The loud music, dim lighting, overwhelming perfume smell and over-priced graphic tees drew me in every time I set foot in a shopping mall. Not to mention the god-like models on the bags and in the storefront window. My mom actually hated the ambience in the store so much that she wouldn’t even shop there with me. “I’ll be right out here,” she would say when we were at the threshold of the store. “Come find me when you’re done.” Now that I am in my twenties, I wouldn’t even think about walking into an Abercrombie store, and I hate to admit it, but I have the same feelings towards the store as my mother did. (Except for the models, they’re still hot.)
Unfortunately, all of the millennials, like myself, that once loved the store have grown-up, but Abercrombie didn’t mature with us. By the time we all entered our junior year of high school, we had broken up with the store. You would think that the next generation of middle schoolers would’ve naturally followed in our footsteps, but they didn’t. Today, teenagers have more knowledge about and access to fashion trends because of Instagram, Pinterest and fashion blogs. So instead of being lured into Abercrombie like teens were ten years ago, kids these days (there I go, sounding like my mother again) are hitting the trendy stores and dressing more like adults, which obviously put A&F into a dilemma.
The store has been forced (probably against its will) to change their image, starting with graphic tees. Believe it or not, Abercrombie is doing way with the big ‘ole moose and A&F logos that we once knew and loved. Over 50% of their new items are logo-free and they’re going to brighten up the store with more lights (aka. you’ll be able to see what you’re buying), which is a huge step in the right direction.
While this might be the first time you’re hearing about Abercrombie’s desperate attempt to be cool again, celebrities have already caught on. A little over a month ago, Rihanna was seen wearing A&F’s Caroline Denim Jacket ($98) and it was totally moose-free.
If Ri Ri approves, it kind of makes me want to check out the store again. After all, they did have great jeans. Will you give Abercrombie a try again once the store gets a makeover? Even if you don’t find anything you like, you’ll at least catch some great eye-candy. It might even be a nice trip down memory lane. I know that once you smell that perfume wafting through the store’s big doors, nostalgia will take you straight back to seventh grade. But this time, you’ll be pimple-free.