It’s goodbye to the hot boys and girls at Abercrombie & Fitch.
News broke out over the weekend that the once provocative and very sexy teen retailer will no longer be hiring store workers based on their looks and body types. An article on The Washington Post said that the brand will also no longer be banking on its sex appeal and by as soon as July, it would not be featuring “sexualized marketing” tactics.
The article also said the company will not be using its iconic shirtless models at store openings or events for both the Abercrombie & Fitch brand and its sister brand Hollister. Meanwhile, sales staff will not also be known as “brand representatives” rather than models.
Quoted on Bloomberg Business, Christos Angelides, president of the company’s Abercrombie brand said that A&F is putting “the customer at the center of the business” once again. This was in a bid to cater to more to shoppers as “for too long stores and clothes were tailored to Jeffries’s whims.”
Late last year, Abercrombie & Fitch also decided to undergo a revamp, stripping its iconic logo off its products. This is a major step for the retailer which is known for its brand splashed right across its products.
The changes come after controversial CEO Mike Jeffries stepped down from the board. Jeffries was often criticised for his controversial overly sexualised advertising tactics and has himself faced backlash from the public. In 2006, he was quoted saying that the brand targets the cool kids and the attractive all-American kid. He admitted to the brand being “exclusionary”.
Meanwhile in February this year, another brand that dropped an overtly sexual approach was American Apparel. Its CEO Paula Schneider also said that the brand will put aside its “overtly sexual” advertising strategy to focus on social issues such as gay rights and anti-bullying. However, she was quick to add that this is not the end of edgy for the brand as it has always been about social commentary and “gives a voice to everyone”.
“Consumers today are fickle, but American Apparel has remained relevant. This is because of its core values. We will continue to be creative and will continue to be bold when relating to the consumers. The essence of American apparel will remain the same as with our commitment to an innovative marketing programme which shares iconic unique branding messages.”