Abercrombie & Fitch launches new ad campaign focusing on ‘body positivity,’ inclusivity

Cologne-heavy mall staple Abercrombie & Fitch has announced that its newest ad campaign is further distancing itself from its previous exclusive “cool kid” message in favor of a “sensitive, diverse and inclusive” one.

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Abercrombie has launched its Face Your Fierce campaign, building off the 2019 relaunch of its Fierce cologne, which is reportedly one of the top-selling fragrances in the country. The campaign will use 24 models, including “professional athletes Megan Rapinoe and Kyle Kuzma, activists, dancers, authors, community trailblazers, actors, performers, models, entrepreneurs, comedians and more,” the press release said.

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Throughout the yearlong campaign, Abercrombie said, it will focus on its “Fierce Family” sharing their experiences with “body positivity, self-empowerment, determination, LGBTQ+ equality, gender equality" and "overcoming obstacles” to inspire its customers.

This move toward a more inclusive space is a step away from the retailer’s previous message of wanting to target only “cool, good-looking people.”

This move toward a more inclusive space is a step away from the retailer’s previous message of wanting to target only “cool, good-looking people.” (Abercrombie & Fitch)

“Our goal is to inspire our customers to feel confident, be comfortable and face their Fierce. Face Your Fierce speaks to our values of authenticity, self-love, perseverance, and ultimately, the countless expressions of Fierceness our customers embody,” said Kristin Scott, President, Global Brands at Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

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This move toward a more inclusive space is a step away from the retailer’s previous message of wanting to target only “cool, good-looking people.”

In a 2006 interview the then-CEO Mike Jeffries, who stepped down in 2014, was quoted as proudly boasting about his brand’s “exclusionary” marketing.

“That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores,” he said to Salon. “Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

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Abercrombie’s “groundbreaking campaign” comes after apparel rival American Eagle has been repeatedly praised for its inclusive marketing, which does not use Photoshop and features “real, authentic and unretouched women.”