Then Vs. Now: Abercrombie & Fitch

Your favorite retailer of sexy-football-casual-luxury fashions has actually been around since 1892.

Abercrombie & Fitch got its start in 1892 as a sporting goods store, selling outdoorsmen-type things like guns, knives, equipment, and other manly wares. Obviously, a lot happened between then and now because the Abercrombie you know sells sexy sweatpants for teens and smells like the golden tan of a 19-year-old lifeguard. But, in certain ways, Abercrombie still sells the same concepts. Here a look at then vs. now. (And, fine, “now” meaning the famous A&F Quarterlies of the 2000s.)

1. Camping gear.

At left, a 1925 advert for camping clothes. At right, a couple from a 1998 A&F catalog snuggle up in a sleeping bag.

2. Adventuring gear.

At left, a 1919 ad for gear for people who look like the scary safari guy from Jumanji. At right, the reject cast for Game of Thrones.

3. Knives.

At left, an Abercrombie & Fitch salmon knife. At right, a remarkably hot Dungeons & Dragons player poses for the Christmas 2003 A&F Quarterly.

4. Christmas gifts for youngsters.

At left, a 1939 ad for A&F Christmas presents. At right, Abercrombie’s gift to its teenage customers, already unwrapped.

5. Guns.

At left, a 1951 ad for Abercrombie’s famous guns. At right, Abercrombie’s equally famous guns.

6. Sporting goods.

At left, a 1932 ad for winter sporting gear. At right, A&F women doing sports.

7. Balls.

At left, a set of vintage Abercrombie & Fitch bocce balls. At right, balls.

A&F Quarterly scans via VFILES.

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