Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11...10 Years Later

This September 11 marks 10 years after that fateful day that scarred America and the rest of the world. A day - a sad yet powerful and significant landmark in the history of America - one of those points in history that forever alter the course a peoples' story. It is a very, very notable passing of time - I don't really know how else to put it - in which so much has changed since that would not have been so otherwise...

And as an American, it brings me tears. I did not lose someone on that dark day, but the sorrow of those who did and the thought of those who lost their lives - my fellow Americans, my fellow men and women  - really hits me. I was a part of that collective melancholy and it pierced my heart as a then 10 year old to witness such profound horror. I will never forget the grieve, the tears, the feelings of woeful worry, pain, fear, and loss. And for always I will remember that profound comradeship and hope, hand-in-hand, which arose to fight back...

A&F Quarterly Back-to-School 2000.
One year before 9/11, the A&F Quarterly Back-to-School 2000 issue was circulating. Incidental, the cover art featured a shot of the Twin Towers of the World Trade year before the event. Unknowingly, that issue would go on to become one of the last pieces of media to feature the pre-9/11 New York skyline with the Towers. Indeed, possibly the only magazine to have featured the skyline on the cover months before their tragic fall. That issue was themed, New York.

If A&F had not planned the New York theme for the A&F Quarterly before 9/11, the issue would have not been developed in a post-9/11 atmosphere. It would have been completely inappropriate.

A&F Quarterly Summer 2001.
The summer fashion season before 9/11, Abercrombie & Fitch released its Summer 2001 A&F Quarterly issue that featured a very patriotic cover. When 9/11 occurred, the Back-to-School issue was circulating. And after the terrorist attacks, the Company sat down and finally decided to cancel the release of the subsequent Christmas issue which would have been out in late-October 2001. It made the announcement on October 17: "The time we're in, it's not a typical environment, and we've acknowledged that. It was a highly emotional decision. It just came down on balance that this Christmas being a time of pushing the envelope was not a right thing to do," stated Mike Jeffries. I had never before, until now, given thought to the fact that A&F must have already been in the finishing stages of the A&F Quarterly Christmas 2001. Mike did not reveal what the issue would have contained, but merely said that it would have been about "kids having a great time at the holidays." ...yeah, well...

The Christmas 2001 catalog cover.
That holiday season, only catalogs (which weren't short of sexuality anyway) were mailed to A&F Quarterly subscribers with a letter - addressed to "The Next Greatest Generation" - from its editor-in-chief, Savas Abadsidis, which read: "We have found ourselves in a markedly altered cultural landscape which has made us pause and question the relevance and timeliness of our Christmas issue. At a time like this, there are moments when the brash irreverence and bravado that in some respects define what we do seem strident and out of place." The company donated the money that would have been spent on finalizing and publishing the A&F Quarterly Christmas issue to charities aiding those who suffered from the attacks. The floorsets in the stores were designed to create a very ''traditional Christmas in the stores with a warm and family air." Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister Co. also sold patriotic-themed tees, priced from $19.50 to $29.50, with proceeds from sales also going to charities along with personal donations from Company employees.

For this 9/11, all I'm expecting from Abercrombie & Fitch, and its mockingbird brands, is a Facebook post. Back in New York, the Nation September 11 Memorial will be opening to mark the 10 years. It is quite beautiful from the images that I have seen. Serenity and tranquility, a site of life and hope developed on what was once a gray hole in the American consciousness...

The National September 11 Memorial (opening 9/11/11) & Museum (opening 2012).
The pools of water are serene footprints to where the Twin Towers once stood.

Stay FIERCE...

P.S. I just want to share with you that this happens to be, unintentionally, the 130th post on The Sitch on Fitch. I decided to post one day prior to 9/11 because I just felt like putting it out a day before - that and I don't plan on blogging on 9/11.

UPDATE: Abercrombie & Fitch didn't even have the courtesy of making a Facebook post acknowledging 9/11. So much for being all-American. But I guess its just too much of an emotional thing for a company to make a statement, and then the comments that would have ensued by users could have sparked some sort of debate. People have been known for making the most inappropriate comments on A&F's Facebook. Ralph Lauren didn't either post anything either, but at least RL featured an image dedicated to 9/11 on its American online store.