My father sent me an article from today’s WSJ regarding Abercrombie’s decision to fight the massive wave of discounts sweeping the world of retail. In a precaffeinated haze, I wrote the following response:
In my humble opinion, the company needs to reexamine its branding strategy from top to bottom. To riff on Dylan, they are stuck inside of 1999 with the over-gelled blues again. Americans and, if Germany’s current issue of GQ has anything to say about it, the world are reintroducing themselves to a classic silhouette. This may be way off base, but I saw a group of high school kids on the train this morning, all black kids, all wearing big puffy North Face coats, etc, but not one was wearing jeans. They all were wearing khakis and cords, one even had critters embroidered all over his cords, and they weren’t baggy. They fit well, narrowly even. Now, this may have been a one time thing, it may have been school sanctioned, but it got me thinking. The world around us is focusing on cleaning up messes made in recent years, and one of the ways that shows itself is in dress code. I think Thom Browne was a soothsayer in his pushing an albeit ridiculous exaggeration of a generally staid, more formal look. Americans’ business casual look will become more formal as we try to reintroduce ourselves to the world. Quality will become as important, if not slightly more so, as value (see: bargain).
I could go on forever.