CEO of Abercrombie is a Weird Dude

This is what’s wrong with our culture.  He’s 61, yet wants to be 21, but looks like…no one.

“His biggest obsession, though, is realizing his singular vision of idealized all-American youth. He wants desperately to look like his target customer (the casually flawless college kid), and in that pursuit he has aggressively transformed himself from a classically handsome man into a cartoonish physical specimen: dyed hair, perfectly white teeth, golden tan, bulging biceps, wrinkle-free face, and big, Angelina Jolie lips. But while he can’t turn back the clock, he can — and has — done the next best thing, creating a parallel universe of beauty and exclusivity where his attractions and obsessions have made him millions, shaped modern culture’s concepts of gender, masculinity and physical beauty, and made over himself and the world in his image, leaving them both just a little more bizarre than he found them.

Much more than just a brand, Abercrombie & Fitch successfully resuscitated a 1990s version of a 1950s ideal — the white, masculine “beefcake” — during a time of political correctness and rejection of ’50s orthodoxy. But it did so with profound and significant differences. A&F aged the masculine ideal downward, celebrating young men in their teens and early 20s with smooth, gym-toned bodies and perfectly coifed hair. While feigning casualness (many of its clothes look like they’ve spent years in washing machine, then a hamper), Abercrombie actually celebrates the vain, highly constructed male. After all, there is nothing casual about an A&F sweatshirt worn over two A&F polos worn over an A&F T-shirt.”

It’s a long article, but well worth the read.

{Read – “The Man Behind Abercrombie & Fitch” on Slate}

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8 responses to “CEO of Abercrombie is a Weird Dude

  1. I’m not going to read the article because of the sad fact that that small somewhat indistinguishable.. picture makes me think of Rocky whatshisface from Mask.

  2. Rocky Dennis. Yeah, I thought of that too. But it’s still worth reading, especially if you dislike A&F, A&E, or AA the way I do.

  3. “there is nothing casual about an A&F sweatshirt worn over two A&F polos worn over an A&F T-shirt.” The layered look & I do not get along. Whoever gave me a $50 gift card for there was not my real friend. I do like the sweatshirt that I bought on clearance. It’s unlike any other sweatshirt that could have been purchased anywhere else :)

  4. breathlessmini

  5. breathlessmini

    Oh, that didn’t work. This is difficult. I don’t like this.

  6. interesting. I didn’t know that about the CEO. What you said about the ideal of “…the white, masculine “beefcake”…” reminds me of the A&F flagship store on New York’s 5th avenue: it’s covered with Arno-Breker-style murals that celebrate those blond and blue eyed athletic guys. I don’t think there’s a single African-American or Asian guy depicted on those wall-paintings. And I always wonder how the many African-American staff members feel in that store that glorifies the white “beefcake”.

    http://tocologne.wordpress.com/2008/04/24/abercrombie-fitch-is-zeitgeist/

  7. Any non-chosen, non-beautiful people who work there have a habit of being skipped over for promotion. And then they sue.

  8. great! I hope they win ;-)

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