This one is personal. Having worked at Abercrombie and Fitch for a short, but fun time, the news that the American brand was opening a new flagship store in Paris this afternoon was of particular interest to me.
Of course aside from the clothes, A and F is often associated with racy adverts, loud pop music, dark interior, and the effervescent smell of cologne. Despite how people in the fashion community may feel about the Abercrombie and Fitch style and marketing strategies, it is undeniable that the brand has been incredibly successful in the fashion world.
That is obvious simply in that they opened on Avenue des Champs-Élysées the most renowned fashion boulevard in history. In fact, because of its importance, the street is regulated by the French Government; preventing cheap commercial brands from staking claims, allowing only the more upscale to hone in. They gave A and F the go ahead to invade (I guess they figured it was better than a horde of German soldiers).
This bureaucracy explains the long wait. A and F first announced the planned opening in 2008, but has taken three years to finalize approval, build, and finally open its new doors…which are behind gilded gates. I’ll bet that is going to boost the A and F ego to the decibel level of the music that plays in each store, especially since H and M was denied Avenue des Champs-Élysées rights in 2007 (but they opened anyway last October after a second try). Maybe the €3.3 Million annual rent plus taxes, the €2.2 Million start up fee, and the additional costs will bring it back down a notch. Pouvez-vous dire “overpriced?”
In true Abercrombie and Fitch style, they held the opening in building number 23 (formerly occupied by Thai Airways) by keeping the clothes in the store…and off the models. A and F hired 101 male models to stand shirtless wearing A and F jeans, belts, and flops in front of, around, inside of, and on top of the store. I wonder if Cruella DeVille came to try to steal them and make a fashionable coat out of their skin…
These images and more are available at: stylerumor.com.