Happy Friday! If you’re in your mid-20s or older, you probably remember (and hell, wore) some Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) back in the day. The stylishly distressed, yet massively overpriced, clothes were a status signifier back in middle and high school, when everyone wanted to be part of the cool crowd (which was comprised solely of all-American, apple-cheeked near-Aryans). And of course, who can forget those sex-drenched ads and catalogs?
The A&F of yore will now be changing that particular aspect. According to “The Washington Post,” the chain will no longer hire “models” (their term for sales associates) based on “body type or physical attractiveness.” They’ll also phase out the “sexualized marketing” (suggestive ads, shirtless models at storefront openings) by July.
This all comes as A&F tries to revamp its image, and project a more inclusive one. Former CEO Mike Jeffries was known for promoting the brand as exclusionary to everyone but his coveted “cool crowds,” and didn’t offer larger sizes. He stepped down from his post last December. The move came amid reports that the retailer’s shares have decreased 39% over the past year, and profits shrunk 5%+ last year.
It’ll be interesting to see if A&F can actually pull off this drastic brand reinvention, and if consumers will respond to it.