Abercrombie & Fitch taps two Texas-based influencers for summer collection collaboration
The retailer with a controversial past is pairing up with one million-plus influencers on a new collection.
With Memorial Day weekend 2022 having come and gone, this year's official summer season has kicked off. Abercrombie & Fitch, the controversial teen and young adult retailer has plucked two Texas-based influencers and friends, Dede Raad of Dress Up Buttercup and Emily Travis of Champagne and Chanel, to co-design a collection.
The offering focuses on warm-weather travel essentials: flowy dresses, shorts, denim, and matching sets. The collection retails for $40-$120 and will be available to purchase online and at Abercrombie stores in the US starting June 2. Sizing ranges from XXS to XXXL to serve a wider audience than Abercrombie has previously catered to.
The vacation-ready collection is unique for the retailer. In this case, tapping Raad, who was recently named on Fortune's Top 25 creators, and Travis, whose nuptials set a new bar for her followers, was a first for a collection from two influencers working together.
Another factor that makes collaborations such as these is community participation. According to Carey Collins Krug, SVP & Head of Marketing, Abercrombie Brands, it was by design. "Dede and Emily have created communities on social media that look to them for trusted style advice and inspiration. Their followers know how genuine their friendship is, so when our customers told us they were excited to vacation with their own best friends this summer, we knew that Dede and Emily would be the perfect choice to co-design our getaway-inspired collection," she said, noting customers indicated looking forward to taking vacations with friends this summer.
"The team at Abercrombie's headquarters listened to us in terms of design and fit and what our community wants to wear," said Emily Travis. Raad concurred. "When designing this collection with Abercrombie and Emily, we kept our community in mind, which truly means so much to me. Taking feedback from the ladies we hear from daily and using it to curate something special together was the ultimate experience for us," she said.
Raad and Travis are among the string of influencers that the retailer has partnered with recently. Other collections and partnerships have been made with creators such as Jen Reed, Influencing in Color, Courtney Shields, The Belbel Twins, Denise Mercedes, Maria Castellanos, and Janea Brown, with each generally averaging around 1 million followers. The lineup reveals a more diverse approach in terms of ethnic backgrounds and sizing. The friends-on-holiday mood caters to an inclusive attitude. Both signal that the retailer has changed course from its 'exclusive' past.
Recently the Ohio-based company, which also operates Abercrombie Kids, Hollister Co., and Gilly Hicks, was the subject of a Netflix documentary called White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch, a less-than-flattering look at the company's former practices. The company was hit with several lawsuits alleging that employees were let go for not being attractive enough or not hired due to their religious practices, while another case saw some 250,000 employees sue the retailer for forcing them to buy the brand's clothes. Most of this occurred under the tenure of Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO from 1992 to 2014. At the time, Jeffries was recognized for taking a dusty men's sporting and haberdashery retailer and making it a hot commodity.
Currently, Abercrombie's stock ANF is trading on the NYSE at $20.25 per share.
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