Abercrombie & Fitch…What HAPPENED To You?

Abercrombie & Fitch has changed a lot since our high school days. In fact, in its just-released fall '16 lookbook, there are no polos or short-shorts in sight. In their place, you'll find silky slip dresses, slouchy sweaters, and tailored trousers. Color us impressed (and very intrigued).
So why the huge aesthetic leap? It's the mall staple's first collection under a new creative director. Kristina Szasz joined the retailer last year as VP of women’s design, with stints at Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld on her résumé. Then, in April, the brand poached Ashley Sargent Price from J.Crew to be its new creative director of marketing. That J.Crew influence was definitely felt in Abercrombie & Fitch's most recent denim campaign, which highlighted jeans and jackets styled in unconventional ways — and with a lot of white space. The fall '16 range seems to build on that new vibe, with a minimalist-meets-nostalgic inclination to the garments and styling. It's a pretty big shift, since this is the brand that only recently ditched its "no black clothing" policy.
Another thing that quickly caught our attention when the campaign landed in our inboxes: the sophisticated logo. Back in 2014, Abercrombie & Fitch cut ties with the iconic moose, an status symbol for many '90s and early '00s teens, in an earlier move of its complete brand overhaul. This fresh new insignia isn't actually all that new: It's an archival logo from 1892, when the company was founded, that the retailer has been reintroducing into its marketing as of late, according to a representative.
So far, Abercrombie & Fitch hasn't been that successful in luring adults into its once heavily perfumed halls, despite this image rejiggering. (Plus, Michael Jeffries, the controversial CEO who largely cultivated that exclusive "only for cool kids" reputation, retired in 2014.) But fall '16 marks the first big shift in the merchandise — and not just how it's presented. This season looks poised to be a new chapter in Abercrombie & Fitch's comeback story. Are you feeling it? Check out the new look, ahead.

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