Whether it’s that very familiar and FIERCE scent, the pulsing bass of the in-store music as you approach the store in any mall across America, or the endlessly provocative and always in-demand A&F Quarterly magazines, there are a great deal of “signatures” that the Abercrombie & Fitch brand is known for. What many may not realize though, is that mixed in with the stunningly shot pictures of many times shirtless athletes, some future Hollywood stars were also caught in front of the lens of A&F Quarterly photographer Bruce Weber.
Chris Carmack (Grey’s Anatomy) appeared in a 2004 A&F Quarterly, while future Hollywood players Channing Tatum and Ashton Kutcher were known to have several of their own barely-there shots in the must-have magazine of the early 2000’s. Jamie Dornan posed (clothed) for a particularly wistful looking ad, while both Penn Badgley and Kellan Lutz each showcased some smoldering looks in front of Bruce Weber’s camera. While A&F Quarterly was unknowingly helping to create future superstars, they were also creating a polarizing American conversation between Abercrombie and ultra-conservative politicians and organizations. Whether it was the Concerned Christians of America or Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood (in 1999), the detractors of A&F Quarterly consistently found flaws with the sometimes barely-there models and sometimes provocative magazine content.
The content in A&F Quarterly and the practices of Abercombie & Fitch as a whole during their heyday are all surely going to be a part of the upcoming Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch”. While the doc is sure to showcase the brand’s successes, the exclusionary practices being practiced at the brand’s heights, as well as how they have evolved, the brand itself released a message on Instagram this week where they spoke of the upcoming documentary in detail. “In the spirit of transparency, we want to directly acknowledge the news of an upcoming documentary that will feature Abercrombie & Fitch and focus on an era that took place under previous leadership,” the brand started. “While the problematic elements of that era have already been subject to wide and valid criticism over the years, we want to be clear that they are actions, behaviors and decisions that would not be permitted or tolerated at the company now.”
“As we’ve evolved, we’ve felt the love from this community,” the post explained. “We are grateful for the support you have given us as we’ve taken intentional steps to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone.” “Thank you for giving us the chance to show you who Abercrombie is today, and for being a part of who we will be tomorrow,” and ended by saying. “We know the work is never done and remain committed to continually creating a company of which we can all be proud.”
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