Endorsing Sex: The Abercrombie Effect
By Rabita Aziz (November 13, 2002)
Imagine if GNC, a health food store, sold fatty, calorie-filled candy bars; or if Trader Joe’s decided to sell cereal with aspartame and preservatives. Of course, these things would contradict the very purpose of the store. Well, that’s exactly what the very popular "preppy" clothing chain, Abercrombie and Fitch, is doing, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore how Abercrombie is selling their clothes, and to figure out just what it is the store is really selling.
Abercrombie has been the top choice among my fellow classmates since elementary school. Why is this? It probably has something to do with the fact that Abercrombie endorses its items in an overtly sexual way. Even their shopping bags sport a shirtless, although very attractive, young man. Large banners of half-nude people are clearly visible in their store windows, and the splash page of their web site shows yet another nearly naked hot guy.
Since when has Abercrombie and Fitch been a gym? Why else would they be trying to sell their clothing by plastering nude people all over their advertisements? Which brings me to another point: The issue of Abercrombie and Fitch’s quarterly, which they call their "magalogue." A magalogue is a magazine and catalogue in one.
A naked Heidi Klum will grace the cover of the upcoming winter magalogue. Apparently, her arm will be covering her breasts, and some kind of holiday plant will cover her, um, other parts. There will also be several other naked models featured throughout the magalogue, which goes on sale early this month. But yet again, why are naked people endorsing the magalogue for a clothing company?
The only good thing about this, and I praise Abercrombie for it, is that only people age 18 or older, with proper identification, will be allowed to purchase this publication. Yet even so, the magalogue will surely end up in young and impressionable hands. Prying little brothers across the country are bound to lift up their big brothers’ mattresses and discover this explicit magalogue.
I’m sure, too, that many people have
also heard of Abercrombie and Fitch’s selling thongs, made especially in
the sizes of young children. It’s bad enough that Abercrombie would market
such attire for children, but the company is also printing sexual phrases
on the thongs, such as "Wink, wink" and "Sexy." Sadly, it looks like this
is going to be Abercrombie’s most successful quarterly yet.