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Less Sex, Less Gay: Abercrombie & Fitch Unveils 'Refined' Brand Image

Abercrombie Fitch rebrand
Abercrombie & Fitch

The brand ditches oiled up hunks and homoerotic imagery for its new holiday campaign. Is it working?

Abercrombie & Fitch is looking for a new identity. After months of working on a corporate overhaul, A&F has unveiled its first holiday campaign since the rebrand, with a sex-free (and controversy-free) video:

The campaign comes complete with a new website and "refined" imagery that claims to wipe the slate clean for A&F, and honor the 125-year-old brand's consumer. So what's in it for us? The new creative team seems to have gotten the memo about racial diversity, kind of: The campaign features only two models of color (still an improvement from the predominantly all-white advertising of yore) hanging out with an otherwise rather waspy-looking bunch.

Ab-fitch

There's no same-sex couple in sight, and it all looks pretty gender- and hetero-normative. Gone are the suggestive shots and homoerotic undertones of Bruce Weber's infamous catalogues for the brand, which fuelled many a wet dream for the brand's queer fanbase.

Abfitchlook1

"This new brand position is the product of an 18-month effort to create a brand identity that communicates our focus on our customers' needs and aspirations," said Fran Horowitz, Abercrombie & Fitch's president and chief merchandising officer.

"Rather than buying clothes that symbolize membership in an exclusive group, today's consumer celebrates individuality and uniqueness," she continues. "Our new brand reflects that confidence and independence of spirit, as well as our own dedication to a more diverse and inclusive culture."

Well, the reinvention of A&F seems to overlook its core of gay customers -- for now. Sure, it's hard to please everybody, but perhaps the next spring-summer campaign will make up for it, with swimsuit galore? Only time will tell.

RELATED : The 21 Gayest Abercrombie & Fitch Moments

Photography: Josh Olins and Matt Jones. Styling: Deborah Watson.

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