Thursday, May 26, 2011

Abercrombie: A Religion?

The A&F flagship, a cathedral to FIERCE worship? A visitor descends from the grand staircase facing the iconic "pseudo-religious" A&F mural within | Screenshot from the A&F Copenhagen promotion film
On Monday, I came across an article by MSNBC titled Some Brains See Apple, Religion as Same. According to the article, neurologists have found that Apple fanaticism stimulates the brain in a similar way as does religion in devout people. This finding is a part of the Secrets of Superbrands documentary from BBC. Immensely immersive, the documentary goes on to call Apple stores cathedrals to the pseudo-religion that is Apple fanaticism. Noted is the seemingly "religious frenzy" that surrounds Apple Store openings and the awesome enthusiam of the staffers.

Well, this got me thinking about our fanaticism for Abercrombie & Fitch. Many people do not understand, and for most of us it is unexplainable. Why: because our intense fanaticism for A&F is seriously near-religious; it's on a whole other level that transcends explanation though mere words...just like Apple fans And A&F is one of those rare brands with an image that truly gives its fans a reason for their fanaticism, as is Apple; it is enveloped in detail and cool unparalleled in its respective industry; no other youth clothing company comes close it...



Please note: The following portion has been considered for deletion because it has been misleading. However, it has been kept and portioned off (since 29 October 2011) from the main post above. The following is complete satire and is not to be taken seriously...

If you are a true fan, walking into an Abercrombie & Fitch store gives you an uplifting and euphoric feeling - you feel as if you've entered a temple, per se; you feel the pulse of music in your heart; you inhale the FIERCE scent in the air. Instead of stained-glass windows, we have the photography of Bruce Weber as snapshots of Abercrombie heaven. In the United States, standard A&F stores are found in malls throughout the nation. These are our small temples, although I wouldn't call them humble: anything Abercrombie & Fitch is far from being humble - hot is the appropriate adjective. How about that: a hot temple of worship...

But for an elevated pseudo-religious experience, there is nothing like a visit to an A&F flagship - a cathedral to FIERCE. As of now, there are eight of these flagship/cathedrals worldwide. These grand structures are found within the world's greatest cities (and their shopping districts), boasting architectural integrety worthy of A&F. Within are awesome murals, like those of Michelangelo within the Sistine Chapel, depicting the romanticism of our creed. A stately statue of the ideal athletic male towers within like a commanding piece of religious sculpture by Bernini within St. Peter's Basilica. (Although the statue looks more like a piece by Rodin, more than anything.) Instead of burning insence and choirs, we have machine-sprayed FIERCE and bass-pumping electronic dance music throughout. The opening of every A&F flagship/cathedral draws in hundreds for the event and demands attention the world over. Granted, some Apple openings and product launches are much more closer a what could be called religious gatherings (specially in global cities), but, hell, we're not tech nerds. Millions of people the world over have made pilgrimages to these FIERCE holy sites...FIERCE, FIERCE is our holy water; spritzed upon everything and every one of us; providing to all a cleanse from the scent of plain and lame...

Pardon me for the idolization, but, yes, Abercrombie & Fitch is totally a religion to us - popularity, athleticism and attractiveness is a part of the doctrine (unwritten, yet prevalent throughout the material and soul). Those of us who fit within the doctrine feel at ease inside our temples, while those who don't feel uncomfortable - there's a reason lame people stear clear of A&F stores. A&F is a lifestyle brand, and you could very well say that the type of religion you follow is a lifestyle brand (Christianity, Hinduism, ect.) because it quite literally brands your lifestyle and sense of being as a person. Mike Jeffries (chairman & CEO, and the creator of A&F's modern image) himself resembles god: unseen, yet nevertheless omnipotent in the works of our universe. The Abercrombie moose is our religious symbol.

The history of the company itself has parallels with that of many religions. Established in 1892 by David Abercrombie, who was later joined by Ezra Fitch, Abercrombie & Fitch was then a minor pseudo-religion with a small following of devoted outdoors lovers. Time went on and milestones where passed as the number of followers increased (bringing with it, too, some very notable people, indeed - US presidents, Lindberg, Earhart...). After a decline in the 1970s and 1980s, the company/religion was re-envigorated with a revolutionary youthful image in the early 1990s by Mike. You could say that he was a god-send mortal who came gift the world with a new Abercrombie & Fitch - since, Mike has acheived apotheosis...he's a god, today. Four other minor denominations have since sprung from the fountain of our company/religion to accomodate other groups: abercrombie kids, Hollister Co, RUEHL No.925, and Gilly Hicks. While the temples to RUEHL have long since been closed, there still remain countless of faithful followers to the romanticism of RUEHL who continue to keep it alive within their yearning hearts praying for a resurrection.

It is because of our exclusively cultivated image that we, the followers, command respect under the Abercrombie moose - an ever powerful icon that lies, beautifully embroidered on our clothing, a top our hearts. Indeed, we are exclusive and our power is growing on a global scale...bringing FIERCE cool to the world (to others just as cool as we) is our mission!

UPDATE (17 August 2011): This association of Abercrombie & Fitch as a religion is mere comparisons...Yes, we call A&F a "religion," but in the same way a girl would call fashion a religion and Vogue the bible...all of this is just fanaticism at play. We don't seriously see A&F as a legit religion, people! We apologize for any misleading content in that respect.