Abercrombie Strips Out The Sex And “Ivy League Heritage” From Brand Descriptions

The retailer, which is pursuing a turnaround, conveys a new image in its quarterly filing. “Idolized and respected” have been swapped for “confident and engaging.”

Abercrombie removed this language from a new filing:

Via anfcareers.com

Abercrombie & Fitch is working hard to regain its luster among American teens — and that includes changing how it describes its own brands.

The retailer removed references to “East Coast traditions and Ivy League heritage” and words like “sexy,” “idolized,” and “privilege” in its quarterly filing today, vocabulary it’s used to describe its brands for years. (Such language was last used in both its annual report in March and a quarterly filing from December.)

Abercrombie now describes its namesake brand as “the next generation of effortless All-American style.” It goes on: “The essence of laidback sophistication with an element of simplicity, A&F sets the standard for great taste. From classic campus experiences to collecting moments while traveling, A&F brings stories of adventure and discovery to life. Confident and engaging, the Abercrombie & Fitch legacy is rooted in a heritage of quality craftsmanship and focused on a future of creative ambition.”

That’s less elitist than Abercrombie’s previous description of its namesake brand: “Rooted in East Coast traditions and Ivy League heritage, Abercrombie & Fitch is the essence of privilege and casual luxury. The Adirondacks supply a clean inspiration to this preppy, youthful All-American lifestyle. A combination of classic and sexy creates a charged atmosphere that is confident and just a bit provocative. Idolized and respected, Abercrombie & Fitch is timeless and always cool.” (Abercrombie, in this sense, literally checked its privilege.)

Abercrombie was once the coolest brand among America’s high schoolers, selling expensive $80 jeans and $50 T-shirts with marketing likened to softcore porn, thumping nightclub-like stores, and the stench of cologne. Now, teens’ tastes have shifted and Abercrombie is opening up the windows at Hollister, toning down the scents (which have been found to make people anxious), and trying harder to keep up with fast-fashion chains.

The retailer has also been cutting back on the sex to some extent, removing the pictures of teens canoodling from investor presentations, for example, though the hallmark of a flagship opening is still hordes of shirtless young men.

Abercrombie, in today’s filing, referred to its kids’ chain as “a&f kids” instead of “abercrombie,” and cut out phrases saying it’s “the essence of privilege and prestigious East Coast prep schools,” and “directly follows in the footsteps of Abercrombie & Fitch.” Now, the chain is “the essence of fun and friendship,” and “celebrates each moment by sharing its effortless great taste with the world.”

The language around Hollister — “the fantasy of Southern California” — is largely unchanged in today’s filing though two points stand out. Gone is the phrase “hot lifeguards,” but guess what made a new appearance? A phrase that hasn’t been used at Abercrombie all that much in the past 20 years: “totally accessible.”

New brand descriptions:


The modern Abercrombie & Fitch is the next generation of effortless All-American style. The essence of laidback sophistication with an element of simplicity, A&F sets the standard for great taste. From classic campus experiences to collecting moments while traveling, A&F brings stories of adventure and discovery to life. Confident and engaging, the Abercrombie & Fitch legacy is rooted in a heritage of quality craftsmanship and focused on a future of creative ambition. abercrombie kids is the next generation of All-American cool. The essence of fun and friendship, a&f kids celebrates each moment by sharing its effortless great taste with the world. From documenting school spirit days and team sports to traveling abroad and experiencing new cultures, a&f kids tells stories filled with youthful excitement and a touch of mischief. Confident and independent, abercrombie kids stands for quality, on-trend style, and creative imagination. Each day brings a new discovery, a chance for adventure, and the opportunity to make history. Hollister is the fantasy of Southern California. Inspired by beautiful beaches, open blue skies, and sunshine, Hollister lives the dream of an endless summer. Spontaneous, with a bit of edge and a sense of humor, it never takes itself too seriously. Hollister’s laidback lifestyle is naturally infused with authentic surf and skate culture, making every design effortlessly cool and totally accessible. Hollister brings Southern California to the world.

Via phx.corporate-ir.net

Old brand descriptions:


Abercrombie & Fitch. Rooted in East Coast traditions and Ivy League heritage, Abercrombie & Fitch is the essence of privilege and casual luxury. The Adirondacks supply a clean inspiration to this preppy, youthful All-American lifestyle. A combination of classic and sexy creates a charged atmosphere that is confident and just a bit provocative. Idolized and respected, Abercrombie & Fitch is timeless and always cool.

abercrombie kids. The essence of privilege and prestigious East Coast prep schools, abercrombie kids directly follows in the footsteps of Abercrombie & Fitch. With an energetic attitude, abercrombie kids are popular, wholesome and athletic. Casual, with classic, preppy style, abercrombie kids aspire to be like their older sibling, Abercrombie & Fitch. The perfect combination of maturity and mischief, abercrombie kids are the signature of All-American cool.

Hollister. Hollister is the fantasy of Southern California. It’s all about hot lifeguards and beautiful beaches. Young and fun, with a sense of humor, Hollister never takes itself too seriously. Hollister’s laidback lifestyle and All-American image is timeless and effortlessly cool. Hollister brings Southern California to the world.

Via phx.corporate-ir.net

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