Abercrombie & Fitch Ditches Sexualized Marketing
Peace out, shirtless hunks.
Abercrombie & Fitch and sister company Hollister are getting a new look — one that doesn't involve those black-and-white photos of mostly nude, "all-American" models. A press release from the company reads, "by the end of July, there will no longer be sexualized marketing used in marketing materials, including in-store photos, gift cards, and shopping bags."
The brands famous for making parents cringe (both from images of hypersexualized teens and an overwhelming cloud of fragrance) is in the midst of several changes following the December departure of controversial CEO Mike Jeffries, whose infamous marketing strategy was one of exclusivity and sexualization. Some changes to store atmosphere, including lowering the music volume and increasing lighting, have already been implemented.
The next round of in-store changes includes a new look for store employees. Shirtless males will no longer be present at promotional store events, and employees, who were deemed, "models," will be rebranded as "brand representatives" and no longer face such strict dress codes.
These changes follow in the wake of the heavy criticism surrounding the discrimination lawsuit of a Muslim woman who said A&F refused to hire her because she wore a traditional head scarf. The brand has also suffered from falling sales thanks to growing fast-fashion competitors such as H&M.