The Way Abercrombie's Abs Were 


It’s the end of an era: Abercrombie & Fitch, a brand once so tight with abs they were like peanut butter and jelly (which you can’t eat if you want Abercrombie abs), has put its clothes back on.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Abercrombie has spent months slowly scuttling its fleet of abs. By their count, there’s just one prominent instance of abs left in the whole company, and that’s the label of its cologne “Fierce.” (Spared thanks to the sexiness of the perfume industry.) Anybody else find herself suddenly consumed with nostalgia? And so, a tribute to the abs that were. Cue up Barbra and join me in a reminiscence.

Abercrombie is of course known for offering one-day celebrities’ abs early national exposure. For instance, Taylor Kitsch, Channing Tatum and Ashton Kutcher:

There were plenty more abs where these came from, in the notorious Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, which gave many suburban parents the absolute vapors for years. Not everybody went on to become a famous actor, but everybody gave it their all (their all being all their abs).

Their outdoor advertisements were very subtle.

Then there were the hardy souls who stood outside the Abercrombie mothership on Fifth Avenue, nipples twisting in the wind, taking pictures with tourists who lined up around the shuttered, cologne-reeking facade. Sure, sometimes they had to put on a shirt. But even then, you’d still be welcomed by a giant gleaming set of pectorals.

Photo ops with shirtless models were kind of their thing.

If you were lucky enough to catch a grand store opening, you might get a veritable platoon of abs.

Even if you didn’t make it all the way to New York City or another flagship, you could take your very own set of abs home with you, in the form of an ab-emblazoned shopping bag:

Hillary Crosley reports that while in college at UC Davis, she purchased something at Abercrombie, took the bag home and a few days later realized one gleaming set of abs belonged to somebody in her political science class.

And let’s not forget the investor presentations, which were routinely studded with abs. Here’s a page from Q2, 2012:

Q4 2011:

But no more. Gone are the abs. Goodbye, abs.

Photos via AP and Getty.

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