Abercrombie & Fitch had its heyday about a decade ago during a resurgence of preppy fashion.
Since then, a quirky, hipster aesthetic has replaced prep casual with the teen set. And Abercrombie is trying to get on the eclectic bandwagon.
The problem? Fans of Abercrombie hate its hip makeover.
Abercrombie’s Facebook community doesn’t “understand Abercrombie’s styling” and think the brand “is straying from their original design roots,” Eric Beder, an analyst at Brean Murray Carret & Co., said in a note to clients.
The retailer selected “festival favourites” designed for summer music festivals that included flowery tank tops and embellished denim cut-offs:
It also released a line of Pop Art t-shirts that looked reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein:
Even the classic Abercrombie & Fitch graphic t-shirts have bold redesigns:
Responses on the brand’s Facebook page show a clear backlash.
“What happened to the style?” one fan wrote of the Pop Art t-shirts on the brand’s Facebook page.
Dozens of comments also discussed the company’s merchandising decisions.
One called an Urban Outfitters-esque sweater with a Native American chief on the front “the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Definitely not impressed with the designer work in the men’s collection this season,” another fan said.
Abercrombie’s brand recognition is strong, but its attempts at becoming hipster are so obvious they’re alienating customers.
The brand’s designers will have to figure out a way to combine preppy with hip.
Facebook fans are also still discussing Abercrombie’s exclusion of large women, which came to light after a Business Insider story last month.
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