When I first started teaching in France, I anticipated a lot of curiosity from my students about American life, but one recurring questino that I didn't understand was "Is it true there are really Abercrombie and Fitch stores everywhere?"
"Uh, yeah," I answered each time, inwardly adding "...Weirdos," to the end in my head. Little did I know, as far as the young and hip of France are concerned, despite all their stilettos and Paris fashion weeks and Chanel and Hermès, they think that A&F is God. Something about the California beach-style promotional imagery must have ignited their interest because there are fakes being sold everywhere, whether it's pants, shorts, or most popularly, hoodies. That's right; the French love A&F to the degree that their fashion-conscious torsos, usually clad in belted fur vests or high-waisted skirts, will wear hoodies. The logo is considered that cool.
My personal favorite is when a fake is so bad that they actually get one of the two names wrong. I had one student showing up in a blue "Abercrombie + Mitch" shirt several times, and the student had no awareness of the irony or the error.
But the industry of fake A&F products is about to change, because on May 19, they are finally opening the first French location in Paris, #23 Avenue des Champs Elysees. To promote it, naturally, they had 100 shirtless male Abercrombie models stand outside for a while:
|If their goal was to distract me from blogging for a good ten minutes while trying to find "just the right picture," (purely for aesthetic reasons, mind you) then I would call this campaign effective.|