As I mentioned here somewhere recently, a couple weeks ago I attended a fashion presentation by Abercrombie & Fitch. Contributing writer Eric Twardzik, who was visiting from Boston, and I were excited to see the venue, which was The Explorers Club. The collection showed the brand returning to its shopping-mall-collegiate-prep roots, which I consider a good sign for the health of traditional American clothing overall.
Now today WWD reports on a new JFK-themed collection just unveiled. The collection began to take shape when Abercrombie purchased a pair of Kennedy’s chinos at auction, which weren’t some random pair, but actually made by the company when it was a gentleman’s outdoor supplier. They have supposedly been reproduced with a “high” rise (relatively speaking) and straight leg.
WWD spoke with Aaron Levine (formerly with RL-owned Club Monaco):
“We continue to redefine our pillars,” Levine said, “which are Old School prep, Old School varsity athletic, military and outdoor heritage. And in women’s, we mix ‘pretty’ with that and mush it all together. We’re creating an iconic, casual American line that is not pretentious.”
So far the return to “’90s preppy,” according to the Abercrombie site, seems to be working. WWD reports “net income rose 52.1 percent to $74.2 million from $48.8 million a year ago. Net sales rose 15.1 percent to $1.19 billion from $1.04 billion. Boosting the quarter’s results was a comparable sales gain of 5 percent at the Abercrombie division.” — CC