Coming Up At Abercrombie & Fitch: Diversity, Inclusion

afPhoto: Courtesy of Abercrombie & Fitch.
It's a strange strategy for a brand to cater to only a tiny percentage of its potential audience at the active, constant exclusion of the rest of it. But, a laser focus on rich, white, skinny, popular kids was one of the factors that drove Abercrombie & Fitch to huge success in the early '00s. And, if you didn't fit that mold (maybe you hung out in the parking lot/under the bleachers/in the art room during lunch) — tough luck. With a recent changeover in leadership, Abercrombie & Fitch has also made a shift in its perspective. Just like the cheerleader who eventually graduated college, moved back home, and realized that being a little shit mean girl wasn't doing anything for her anymore, so, too, is AF making moves to undergo a personality change.
Advertisement
First up? A rebrand. Secondly? Actually following through. Recently, executive vice president of stores Amy Zehrer has been put in charge of diversity and inclusion efforts for employees and store associates. While details haven't been laid out yet, we assume that means the brand is ditching its past "model-as-sales-associate" policies, its stores will no longer feel like a WB casting floor circa 2003. (It should be noted that the percentage of non-white associates has already risen from 10% to over 50% in the past 10 years, and Abercrombie & Fitch's senior-level positions boast a high percentage of women.)
With the sales floor resembling the actual world, it shouldn't be long before truly inclusive, diverse ad campaigns and a wider range of clothing-size options become the status quo. And, hey, if the metaphorical cheer captain can change her tune so completely, what's to say the rest of the industry can't follow? (WWD)
Advertisement

More from Stores

The term "lady" certainly feels pretty antiquated. But in H&M's latest campaign commercial, the dated word gets a cool, thoroughly modern ...
J.Crew doesn't have the over-the-top quality of some other shows (or, as fashion critic Vanessa Friedman recently called them, "hashtag hoo-has") such as ...
Here’s a sentence my teenage self never thought she’d write: Lane Bryant is seriously killing the plus game. Besides an overall aesthetic shift from “stuff...
Lane Bryant's latest campaign is evidently not suitable for national network TV audiences: Its 30-second spot was banned by ABC and NBC. Featuring plus-...
If you had any lingering doubt that fashion is all about nostalgia, just take a look at Opening Ceremony's new arrivals: Humberto Leon and Carol Lim keep ...
We should probably employ a "believe it or not" clause around all of the epic tales we heard while on our exclusive tour of Cartier's newly renovated ...
When I saw Ashley Nell Tipton on Project Runway, I knew that a sea change had just occurred. It was thrilling to watch her tackle challenge after challenge...
After last month's productive spring-cleaning binge, we imagine your closet's looking a little sparse these days. With all of that freed-up space, the ...
H&M is on a quest for ambitious, innovative green ideas that could change the fashion biz. The Swedish retailer's non-profit arm, H&M Foundation...
Another day, another independent artist calling out fast fashion for ripping off work. Let's get right to it: Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed, who is known ...
If you've been a fan of R29's for years, you'll know we have a soft spot in our hearts for J.Crew. Its new arrivals always seem to address exactly what our...
A new book, set to be released in Sweden next week, asserts that the factories in Myanmar under contract with H&M hired employees as young as 14 and ...
Update: H&M just released a second look at its upcoming collaboration with Kenzo — one that teases a very different direction for a fast-fashion ...
Just a few weeks after people rallied behind artist Tuesday Bassen following allegations that Zara copied her original illustrations on numerous ...