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Abercrombie launches plus-size ad campaign for fragrances



They’re losing their “cool.”

Apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch is shedding its exclusionary popular kid aesthetic for a more millennial-friendly re-branding — after their former CEO notoriously professed to targeting only the “cool kids.”

Anchored on a range of ideas including the increasingly trendy “body positivity” movement, as well as “self-empowerment,” “gender equality” and “LGBTQ+ equality,” the new campaign has ditched the days of rock hard abs and glowing tans for more realistic body types, The Post has learned.

The “Face Your Fierce” ads — a play on their Fierce fragrance — center on the brand’s perfumes and colognes for now, not clothing, though all the models pictured will be wearing Abercrombie & Fitch outfits, a spokesperson tells The Post.

“We’re moving towards a world of belonging, rather than fitting in,” says Joanna Ewing, Abercrombie & Fitch’s head of creative.

This is the first ad campaign they’ve launched using plus-size models, though they began quietly incorporating more curvy models in their advertisements last year.

The new yearlong campaign boasts an A-list cast of 24 athletes, activists, models, artists and more to represent the brand and pose in a series of photos — wearing Abercrombie’s signature blue jeans and cable knit sweaters — à la the brand’s previous campaigns, but with a twist.

Among the most recognizable are: American soccer player and two-time World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe, who rose to prominence for her public critiques of President Trump and LGBTQ+ activism; Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Kyle Kuzma; and Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett.

Others include plus-size model Michael Robert McCauley, Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and the Compton Cowboys.

Seven years ago, the 127-year-old brand caught major heat from online critics for its exclusive and fat-shaming principles after a Business Insider article found that Abercrombie didn’t carry women’s XL or XXL sizes. Experts believed it was because they didn’t want larger people shopping there.

In a 2006 Salon interview, Mike Jeffries, Abercrombie’s CEO at the time, broke down their standards bluntly: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. We go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.

“A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla,” Jeffries told Salon. “You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

By February 2017, Abercrombie’s share price had plummeted to $11 from $54 just a few years prior, over a hundred of its brick and mortar stores were shuttered and the company seemed to be headed toward bankruptcy.

But that same year, a new CEO, Fran Horowitz, took the helm and has since steered the company back into the green. The company now offers more true-to-size options and launched a “Curve Love” line with more room in the hip and thigh areas.

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