White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch Review
I grew up in this era so watching this documentary was really fascinating because, while everyone knew of Abercrombie and Fitch and Hollister and brands like that, I never felt cool enough to be part of that trend and luckily wasn’t sucked into this world of classism, racism, and fat phobia.
The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie and Fitch looked at exactly that, the rise and fall of the company from its heyday in the early 2000s to suddenly breaking down later on after the CEO is found saying absolutely disgusting things about what type of customers he wants to shop in their stores, and the length they were going to, to make sure that the people they didn’t want to shop there wouldn’t.
We see that Abercrombie and Fitch used sexualisation to sell their clothes and while the clothes were mainly worn by preteens and teenagers a lot of the models were shown very scantily clad and rocking this lifestyle that these teenagers could only dream of having. It was really ‘the cool kid’ metaphor that worked for Abercrombie and Fitch so well in that you see a cool kid wearing a type of brand so you want to then wear that type of brand too, and because Abercrombie and Fitch try to keep themselves so niche, even the people who didn’t wear the clothes still knew about the brand and still wanted them regardless.
But of course as things changed and we become more aware of what is right and wrong a lot of the things that Abercrombie and Fitch were doing in their marketing and their clothes started to be incredibly problematic. However it seems that the CEO at the time did not want to make any changes to his brand because he enjoyed having that elitist behaviour of only the cool kids can wear it and if you have an issue with Abercrombie and Fitch that make you uncool and so, unlikable.
I don’t think the brand is the issue here it is the people behind it, the people that wanted it to be shown in a certain way. Having models scantily clad and appealing to teenagers is incredibly shocking and a lot of the graphic tees that they were selling too just really added to this idea that Abercrombie and Fitch was just for the white privileged middle class or high class people of the world, when really it’s just a brand like any other and should’ve been treated as such.
I can’t imagine another brand having the same rise and fall that Abercrombie and Fitch did in this day and age, we are so much more aware of what is right and wrong and have better morals that I don’t think we would let a brand like this do what Abercrombie and Fitch did. I really like that we now, as consumers, concentrate more on brands that are doing good stuff for the environment or for their workers or charities because that shows that good choices will win out in the end.
What do you think of Abercrombie and Fitch?
Until next time.