In general, Abercrombie & Fitch makes me uncomfortable. You can be walking through a brightly lit mall that feels spacious and airy, but if you make the unfortunate choice of stepping through the doors of this store, suddenly the ceiling zooms down closer to your head, the air becomes thick with sneeze-inducing cologne, the dim lighting makes you squint so you almost can’t see the outrageously overpriced tags.
For the life of me, I have never been able to figure out why they do this. On purpose. You know, if you were creating a store out of some cave in the wilderness and had to make do with bad lighting, cramped spaces and stale air, it might be forgivable. This, I just don’t get.
Not to mention, any time you do cross the threshold, you may encounter semi-naked store models (generally a guy wearing only pants and his girl counterpart in his missing, over-sized shirt) who do nothing but stand around and look broody. I suppose the purpose is to be a real-life version of the strange ads they produce, also sans much apparel. However, it comes across to me like a very public sort of walk of shame. I see them as a sort of cautionary tale, of what happens when you get stuck in the college lifestyle of booze and boys and forget the brain between your own two ears.
And yet, the company flourishes. Even with CEO Mike Jeffries at the helm–someone who flaunts the fact that his brand purposefully excludes anyone over a size 10 (click here for the article “Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks“) because they aren’t part of the popular crowd. Without excluding people, you can’t really excite anyone. Ahem, sure… His niche, supposedly, is “cool kids.” Because only the coolest of the cool wear track pants that cost 85 bones (or was it “pee their pants”?).
Google Mr. Mike Jeffries–who looks strangely like mix between a jock-ish guy I almost-dated in university and Joan Rivers–and read up on what a wordsmith he is. It’s clear that “cool” is his middle name. Or, something that rhymes with cool. And starts with F. I don’t know. Just spit-balling here.