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5:37 am
Sat August 30, 2014

The Abercrombie Logo Loses Its Luxe

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 10:33 am

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Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Abercrombie & Fitch is ditching its traditional logo - that insignia the clothes it appeared on made the brand one of the most popular for young people in the past few decades. As teen choice's change, the company wants to move away from using logos as selling points and compete instead in what's called the world of fast fashion. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: It's all about branding, and you don't need to be a fashion expert to know that, but we have one for you anyway. Her name is Ilse Metchek and she's the head of the California Fashion Association and she's a fashion designer by trade.

ILSE METCHEK: In modern fashion in the world of the Internet, the global world of fashion, brand is number one. I would put design all the way down to number five.

GLINTON: Abercrombie & Fitch, the brand that for decades has courted controversy and teen dollars, is moving away from putting its A&F logo on its own clothes.

METCHEK: What it's saying is they themselves don't like their own image. I mean, it's kind of - I'm a brunette - well, very gray, of course, but brunette nevertheless - and if I suddenly went blonde, I would think that it would mean that I didn't like myself as a brunette.

GLINTON: Metchek says Abercrombie, which focuses on young men, has been squeezed by competitors such as American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, Hollister and Buckle. Now the company wants to pick up more female buyers, and it's entering the fast fashion category, competing with retailers like H&M and Zara.

METCHEK: Fast fashion means exactly that - there's no such thing as a basic T-shirt. There's no such thing as a black, brown, gray and navy inventory at all times. There's no commodity stock. Everything changes every ten weeks - everything, everything. It's in, it's out, it's cheap.

GLINTON: Metchek says in the fast fashion race, Abercrombie is more than a lap behind. But Abercrombie's brand, which goes back to 1800s, has caught up before. Sonari Glinton, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SUMMER GIRLS")

LFO: (Singing) I like girls that wear Abercrombie & Fitch, I'd take her if I had one wish, but she's been gone since that summer, since that summer. Hip hop marmalade spic and span, met you one summer and it all began. You're the best girl that I ever did see...

SIMON: And you're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.