What’s wrong with this picture? (Hint: Look closer than my reflection in the window.) It’s about the individuals who grace the giant promotional posters displayed in this Abercrombie & Fitch storefront. We learn from the photo captions that the ripped Gus and Kyle are both professional athletes; and that one of the two attractive women, Georgia (in an adjacent window), is a model.
The fourth (center) poster embodies, in my opinion, what’s right and what’s wrong here. First, good for the A&F marketing campaign to feature Halle Hathaway, who is, it seems, atypically shaped for the retailer’s brand. That A&F feels obliged to qualify her selection — the caption notes she is an “Influencer & Self Love Advocate” (@halle_hathaway) — marginalizes its purpose, unfortunately.
There is always a risk of unintended consequences with such calculated choices; they can sniff of pandering or worse, stereotyping. The grander (commercially riskier?) gesture would be to make a genuine, unqualified appeal to customers of all shapes and sizes.
No doubt it’s a stretch to expect an apparel retailer like A&F to set the example for being “blind” to ethnicity, gender and age, let alone physical appearance. It would be nice, though, if the influential trendsetter could reflect sincerity.
Hi Stuart! Miss your low keyed humor, sorely needed now.