Abercrombie & Fitch debuted a new men’s lineup by Aaron Levine, the head of the company’s men’s division.
Levine came to Abercrombie from Club Monaco in June, according to Fashionista.
The campaign appears to be part of the company’s clear attempt to turn the brand around.
According to a press release, the new line is a hat tip to the brand’s roots combined with “new fits and fabrics, which is in line with the A&F’s move toward a more elevated and distinguished look.”
So far, the campaign has yielded mixed results. While GQ and Maxim have sung the praises of the nearly-unrecognizable Abercrombie of 2016, Facebook commenters are not head over heels for what they’re calling a “homeless” look.
Although the clothes are a crucial part of the campaign, there’s no doubt that mysterious bearded man wearing the apparel — Alex Libby — might be helping people fall in or out of love with Abercrombie & Fitch 2.0.
Libby has appeared in a variety of campaigns.
He’s appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Man in Australia.
And he has also modelled for Asos.
He apparently likes to hang out shirtless, much like the Abercrombie models of yore.
But his look is distinctly different from the clean-cut, all-American frat boy that defined Abercrombie & Fitch in the past.
While Abercrombie & Fitch-types probably played football, Libby skateboards.
But his beard and occasionally man-bunned hair has left consumers confuse. It’s a divisive look.
But plenty of commenters who appear to be female on Instagram have been swooning over him, writing comments like “my kinds [sic] of aber model” and asking if “he [comes] with it?”
But is Libby’s appeal enough to get them into stores to buy apparel?
That’s what Abercrombie & Fitch needs. Comparative sales for the parent company were up 1% for the fourth quarter, but the brand’s comparable sales were still down 2%. That’s an improvement from previous quarters, but the company still has a way to go before it is completely revived.
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