Opting out of Bruce Weber‘s gay nostalgic faux porn cataloguing of the nineties and aughts, the beloved brand of every prissy and privileged or wannabe prissy and privileged white kid you went to school with has gone in a new direction after years of being a watchful corpse. The brand has reanimated itself via rebrand that a former Club Monaco men’s designer is in charge of.
So what’s there to see? A bearded dude from a non-specific city but he’s definitely straight (“straight”) and maybe used to do crossfit. Would you fuck him? Maybe. But what do you actually think of him? Beyond fuckability and style, who is this dude? Who is the new Abercrombie trying to appeal to? It’s not directly teens but more the people who wore Abercrombie a decade or two ago. Let’s investigate all of this by probing the new face of the brand.
He needs a bath.
What a beautiful head of greasy hair. And his distressed sweater! Surely he has taken if off the rack and then put it on again and then put it on the rack and then put it back on again and off and on and off, etc. He stares into your eyes outside of the gym shower room and you think you and him might have a fierce physical moment and then you realize that he is gorgeous male who always smells like ball sweat. You know the guy: he’s so beautiful and so fit but he always smells a little sweaty, like he just put normal clothes on top of dried sweat. He’s an abdomen being crunched. He isn’t a man and he smells: he’s a small muscle that hasn’t been bathed. If the old Abercrombie scent reminded you of downed trees buried in lockers, this one reminds you of a book bag full of evergreen scented car air fresheners and yellowed jock straps. It’s sexy and it’s outdoorsy but it also makes you want to puke. This is the type of guy who has gifts for you in his ass hairs.
He is hiding so many buzzwords under his clothes.
Look at this fucking dude. Who is he? He is a yoga bun distressed beard tattoo sensitive cuffed jean washed Silver khaki juice kale urban millennial metro lumber sexual feminism gender male man Portland New Balance Bon Iver Sufjan dark roast coffee thirsty FOMO Kinfolk Branden Ravenhill Bottle Opener dadbod clicktivist craft beer hiker Instagram filter hashtag mancrush Brody rosé snapping ANTM: Guys & Girls mole fresh market provisions Lake millinery pop-up local tanner company man & Fitch.
This man has a dumb name like “Brock” or “Lucky” or “Canyon.”
Even though the model—Alex Libby—is not super Instagram famous, the idea of the Abercrombie man is the Instagram famous guy with long hair and a beardedness who you are aware of and view as a means to quench a sexual thirst—but you don’t follow him or Like any of his photos because you don’t want to dignify him with marks that you actually acknowledge that this man and his ecosystem exists. You also don’t want to dignify his fucking awful, ridiculous, artisanal identity. And you hate his name.
He’s just an illusion.
While the man distracts you with his beauty (“beauty”), look closer at what he is wearing: the jeans are seven degrees too baked in the distress department, those are straight up old Abercrombie sweats, the coat is dang old Gap from that brief moment when Gap gasped a breath of air in 2013, the crotchal area and general fit of things is fucking terribly unflattering, and you will generally look like an Eastern European man who might sell you illegal cigars because that is what this man looks like. This man is not real. The clothing is real, sure, but it will never look as good as this man does…because this man is not real. It’s all an illusion. Abercrombie is still Abercrombie.