In order to re-boost the brand image, Abercrombie & Fitch is trying to shake its much-criticized reputation for hyper-sexually explicit marketing and shirtless sales staff with model-like looks.
Today, Abercrombie issued a statement saying both it and its sister brand, Hollister, will cease to feature provocative photography on everything from shopping bags to gift cards starting in July. Additionally, they will both no longer use shirtless lifeguards for store openings and events. They’re even going as far as dropping the infamous “Look Policy” throughout its 965 stores around the world, which restricted associates from sporting French manicures, certain hair-styling products, and mustaches. They will also now be called “associates” and not “models.”
The company has also announced plans to continue to encourage “inclusion and diversity.” Currently, according to the statement, more than half of store associates are nonwhite and the brand was named “Best Place to Work for the LGBT Community from 2007-2014.” The company also plans to establish the A&F Global Diversity and Leadership scholarship program with the National Society of High School Scholars.
“We’ve put the customer at the center of the business,” Christos Angelides, president of the company’s Abercrombie brand told Bloomberg. These changes have come about after the very public ousting of the company’s longtime chief executive Mike Jeffries, who left in December 2014.
The new look and feel of the brands’ marketing is more accessible and, frankly, more realistic than its famous black and white Bruce Weber shots. Take a look: