I love a good hoodie as much as the next comfortista but there is something (or many things) which make Abercrombie and Fitch very bizarre.
The store was originally opened in 1892, in Manhattan, as an elite outfitter of sports goods including shot guns, fishing rods and tents but in 1977 filed for bankruptcy.
(Now it just seems to be about the finest tackle.)
Before long, Abercrombie and Fitch was revived and this time specialised in hunting wear and novelty items. Hense the moose (the only one in the shop thanks to the store's 'Look Policy').
The Abercrombie that we know today now focuses on the apparel needed to look good whilst doing such sports (or lounging around, if you are anything like me).
But in order to own a comfy jumper you need to face the torture of going to the store (a fine example of the pleasure/pain principle).
And this starts before you even step into the store. I have never known a line so long just to get into a shop on a normal day of trading. I have queued for less time to get into the Harrod's January sale!
But I have lined up all the same (although in my defensive, I was in NYC and to go to Abercrombie seemed like the touristy thing to do).
Once you get into the store the next part isn't so torturous. In fact, it is very nice. Perhaps it is their way of saying thank you for waiting so patiently outside for so long. It is of course the moment where you get to pose with a hot, half naked man, in front of a giant poster of a hot, half naked man. It is such a strange thing to happen in a shop, or just in general really. Could you imagine walking into M&S and having your photo taken with the security guard who stands by the door?
I can think of no other situation where I would have my photo taken with a complete stranger. (Actually I can. New Year's eve. It was a silly game I was playing, see how many drunken friends I could make and have a photo with. At least I knew their names.)
However strange it may seem though, I now own 4 Abercrombie Man photos. They're hot, why not?
Right:photo with random hot man on a happy Saturday.
Spot the difference.
Once you have been given your Polaroid of pleasure, you enter the A&F party. Where else on earth do you go to by a t-shirt and feel as though you have just walked into a nightclub? The music is so loud that the girls dancing around have to shout (a very American) 'Hey, how ya doing?' as you try to figure out where feck the girl's section is, in the dark.
Why is it so dark in that shop? I don't understand. Surely you need to be able to see the clothes in order to buy them. You also need to be able to see all the flipping plants that are all over the place and just get in the way! Again, why?
Having found the desired section of the shop,your eyes have adjusted to the light (or lack of) and your ears to the ringing, you may find yourself having to ask one of the assistants for further help. One of the assistants who look as though they have just stepped out of the photo on the wall. Why, why, oh why do they have shop assistants who look like models? Who wants to go to a shop and feel fat and ugly?
However, I think it would be a great idea to have the hot male assistants in the ladies section and the girls can go the menswear or even better, the stock room. In all seriousness though, how they get away with their 'Look Policy' I do not know.And now not so serious,thank you Mr David Abercrombie and Mr Ezra Fitch! (Swoon, palpitate, drool slightly. God bless America!)
I always find it comforting to think that yes, the sales assistants might look like models, but they are still getting paid minimum wage to dance like fools and fold clothes.
Once you have lined up for an hour, had your photo snapped with Abercrombie Man, muddled your way in the dark, got over the feeling of inadequacy, been poked in the eye by one of the unnecessary plants, endured the same track over and over, lined up for another 20 minutes to pay for the hoodie that you think is black, but could be navy, it is time to leave. But there is no need to feel sad. All the way down Savile Row you will smell the scent of Abercrombie, which I am sure is pumped out of vents in the ground to lead tourists to the store. And of course, you have your very own half naked man (with no head so you can imagine him to look however you want) on your bag to accompany you home on the tube.
And if you are a real glutton for punishment, there is always Hollister of course.
Thank hoodieness for Superdry!
One last little treat-call it a thanks for reading.