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The Abercrombie Report

With its first Fifth Avenue store, Abercrombie & Fitch expands from the tourist ghetto of South Street Seaport to the heart of upscale Manhattan. Can a suburban brand thrive in the big city? We asked 75 kids what Abercrombie means to them.

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“They’re just trying to make you think that by wearing Abercrombie you’ll have a better chance of having sex.” Max Wang, 13 (far left). “They’re the only jeans that fit me ’cause I’m so skinny.” Julie Miller, 14 (top). “It projects the typical image of the perfect American male—good at school and masculine.” Jeremy Leopold-Metzger, 16 (far right).   

Do you like Abercrombie & Fitch?
Yes: 50%
No: 23%
No. It’s gross: 20%
My entire wardrobe is Abercrombie: 3%
I’ve never heard of it: 3%
I like it, but my boyfriend won’t go into the store: 1%

Are you the type of person Abercrombie epitomizes?
No: 86%
Yes: 8%
No. I’m not perfect: 2%
No. I’m black: 2%
Yes. I’m sexy as hell: 1%
No. I live in New York, not California: 1%

Will you shop at Abercrombie’s new Fifth Avenue store?
Yes: 54%
No: 42%
No. I only go to Abercrombie at the mall: 4%

Have you seen the company’s old magalogue with its controversial nude images?
No: 60%
Yes: 37%
Yes. My dad has it, and it’s like porn: 1%
Yes. It stresses guys out: 1%
No. Can you see nipples? Victoria’s Secret doesn’t show nipples anymore: 1%

Are you a fan of Abercrombie’s satirical T-shirts, like the one that said IT’S ALL RELATIVE IN WEST VIRGINIA?
I’ve never heard of that shirt or the controversy, and I don’t get the joke: 64%
Yes: 27%
I’m aware, but it’s rude: 8%
My parents wouldn’t even get the joke: 1%


“It perfectly targets the girls who shop there. They’re boy-crazy.” Joey Steigelman, 15 (middle). “It was cool up until we were 16. Then it got this dumb-jock-meathead image.” Jay Brandt, 23 (bottom center). “It’s such a cliché. I used to live in Long Island, and I got sick of the whole everyone-looking-the-same.” Chelsea Turowsky, 16 (far right).   

Why do you like it?
“It’s stylish and sleek.”
—Richard Peebles, 21

“I have long limbs, and it fits me well.”
—Rachel Lin, 17

Why do you dislike it?
“It’s very logotistical.”
—Andrew Markoff, 13

“It’s overpriced.”
—Essi Collins, 13

Who wears Abercrombie?
“Sorority girls and frat boys.”
—Carassa Mohammed, 16

“Rich poseur kids.”
—Max Wang, 13

“Blonde New Jersey girls with fake nails.”
—Naomi Sosner, 17

What did you think of the nudity?
“I’m an artist, so I don’t care.”
—Richard Peebles, 21

“Their strategy is so obvious, showing teenagers in nothing but a Christmas hat.”
—Elli Marcus, 16

“I heard it targets gay men.”
—Suzannah Balluffi-Fry, 15

If Abercrombie made a T-shirt making fun of NYC, what would it say?
“IT’S ALL RELATIVISTS IN NEW YORK.”
—Jonathan Taveras, 29

“IT SMELLS LIKE PISS: WELCOME TO NEW YORK.”
—Winston Reid Jr., 23

Additional reporting by Suzanne Mozes, Corrie Pikul, Jesse Stepler, Bree Sposato, and Eric Wolff.


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