ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
Abercrombie & Fitch (A & F) of today differs dramatically from the original waterfront shop in New York that carried high-quality clothing suitable for camping, fishing, and hunting. The A&F of 2002 can be found in virtually any major mall in America, and its target market includes preteens and teenagers. Indeed, the shift has been rather dramatic, and it could certainly be asserted that the direction A&F has recently headed strays substantially from the original vision of its founders.
The style of clothes offered by A&F could be described as worn, casual, and rather rugged. Some critics contend the merchandise at A&F seemingly overpriced considering that it is arguably no more unique than any other store of its kind geared toward the same market. One aspect of A&F that does make it unique from other stores, however, is their catalog that was first published in 1997 and out four times a year with a spring break, summer, back-to-school, and Christmas issue. The Quarterly magazine-catalog hybrid that, in addition to the clothing portion of the catalog, has interviews with actors, musicians, directors, and even some famous scholars. Fashion legend Bruce Weber does many of the photographs that appear throughout the magazine, and “these photos depict young, healthy, presumably red-blooded Americans posing, frolicking, and generally living what could be considered ‘the good life.’ They do this in Abercrombie clothes, sometimes; other times, they do this out of the Abercrombie clothes.”
As mentioned previously, the first publication of the Quarterly was released in 1997, and the catalog was immediately met with controversy and public outcry. The attorneys general of Illinois and Michigan as well as Mothers Agent Drunk Driving denounced the 1998 “Back to School” issue for “encouraging underage drinking” with an article entitled “Drinking 101.” Despite the fact that there was never any mention of...
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