Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Main Event! Abercrombie & Fitch in Singapore Now Open!

A&F's Singapore fans gathered for the hottest event of the year!  |  (image source)
It was the hottest subject on the The Sitch on Fitch since coverage began of it on the blog. It was the hottest topic on Singapore's Facebook and Twitter days before it happened... THE MAIN EVENT HAS COME! Abercrombie & Fitch has opened its all-new flagship store in Singapore! The third Abercrombie location in Asia, A&F Singapore swung open its doors in the morning of December 15 at 10:00 (Singapore Standard Time)...

The opening of Abercrombie & Fitch in Singapore historically marks exactly two years since the opening of the first A&F in Asia. Tokyo's towering A&F Ginza was heralded by the Japanese news media, upon opening, as a "spectacle of consumerism." Now, A&F Singapore continues the brand's stride into the Asian market as it presents itself in a light of cool, luxury, and total sex appeal!

This flagship may be the third in Asia, but it's more specifically the first in Southeast Asia. Being the leader in finance, tourism, and fashion within the region, Singapore is the perfect spot from which to shine! And within Singapore, Abercrombie's flagship is located on Orchard Road - the city's major retail thoroughfare. The world's biggest and most revered name brands all have addresses on Orchard Road. Because it also has its share of awesome entertainment, Orchard Road is the target of quality leisure for Singaporeans and its millions of around-the-world tourists!

A&F Singapore is, more exactly, located at 270 Orchard Road within the opulent Knightsbridge retail complex - "Modern day curators of the highly covetable" - of the Park Hotel Group "creating a new language for luxury at its finest." Abercrombie & Fitch occupies the corner unit of the complex, with direct street access, to assure a strategic position from which to showcase its globally iconic image.

The news of Abercrombie coming to Singapore was official by the spring of 2011. It definitely made for a notable topic among the real estate and retail world (including luxury news media in Asia). The Park Hotel Group had recently developed Knightsbridge and it was really enthusiastic over the agreement: "For Orchard Road to continue to be the premier shopping destination for locals and tourists, we need more interesting and iconic retail concepts and brands such as A&F to set foot in Singapore. The opening of the A&F flagship at Knightsbridge in Orchard Road will increase the vibrancy and quality of shopping experience in Singapore," commented PHG's director Allen Law.

By the summer, A&F erected two expansive billboards over the entire facade of the corner unit. Very in-your-face, the billboards featured the standard image A&F now uses to promote its flagships worldwide - that of a shirtless guy tugging down on his jeans exposing his far lower abdomen. Comments were made about it as "lewd" and the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore decided it as being "objectionable" by August 31; it called for its suspension on September 12. The ASAS did everything it could to get the billboards down only to be slapped in the face by the fact that only A&F, untouchable by the ASAS's local influence, could decide to take it down. Needless to say, the marketing remained up and the bratty, ignorant ASAS group was shut up.

Meanwhile, the opening date leaked in early-September and The Sitch on Fitch was among the very first to report it! Our Abercrombie & Fitch in Singapore Opens December 15th post immediately became the most viewed post everyday after September 8. Only the opening of A&F Düsseldorf managed to knock it down to #4 for two days after which the Singapore post returned as #1! It has long since been the most popular post of all-time on The Sitch on Fitch as thousands upon thousands read it daily since its publishing! Crazy!

Adding further heat to everything surrounding the flagship, on December 9, Abercrombie & Fitch lined up its hottest guys from virtually every international A&F location to promote the event wearing nothing but bright red sweatpants and leather treds! Quite a departure from the coats and jeans the promo boys typically wear, the effect was totally FIERCE! The Sitch on Fitch blew up like never before that weekend and Abercrombie became the most talked about topic on Singapore's Facebook and Twitter! The guys continued to pose outside the store from 1:00 to 5:00 everyday drawing crowds of people.

In fact, Abercrombie & Fitch created an entirely new campaign, exclusively for Singapore, to advertise the flagship store! The A&F Singapore campaign, titled 'The Main Event', featured never-before-seen photography separate from the current Christmas 2011 campaign. Starting December 9, Knightsbridge's towering media wall, located on the corner over the A&F Singapore unit, displayed the grayscale imagery featuring all-guys and athletic romanticism.

When the big day arrived, the first fans began lining up by 5:00 in the morning! Hundreds more turned up by the time the A&F team swung doors open, walking worth, and saluting the crowd to welcome them all inside! Fans clapped and roared in shouts of enthusiasm. The opening was generally deemed to be tame because of its lack of 40 semi-nudes. But seriously, no A&F opening is ever tame and news reporters are always there on spot to cover every event!

A&F Singapore is obviosuly modeled after the flagship store in Tokyo.  This architecturally appealing prototype was originally designed by Selldorf Architects back in 2008 and, in turn, it was inspired by the original Abercrombie & Fitch flagship - A&F Fifth Avenue. Singapore's flagship, however, is the first location, since A&F London, to feature photography on the wall facing the entrance, instead of full mural. This wall features space for the framed image as well as a piece of Bruce Sargeant's mural running across the top of the wall. The photo featured at the entrance on the opening was from The Main Event campaign and was stamped with the words, "A&F THE MAIN EVENT." ...Makes for a killer background when you take your photo with the store greeter!

The hottest shop on Orchard Road, A&F Singapore is there to satisfy pure indulgence in Casual Luxury! The flagship store offers 21,000 square feet (more than 1,900 square meters) of retail space offering the iconic energetic shopping experience of Abercrombie & Fitch! Goods bearing the Abercrombie label and moose, coveted internationally by their youthful fans with a taste for all-American cool, are provided in an environment that's sure to keep 'em coming for more! Mens styles take over the ground floor while womens fashions are housed in the upper levels...

Abercrombie & Fitch is now officially in Singapore!


P.S. Abercrombie & Fitch has posted photos of the event on its official Facebook page...finally on time! You can check them out (here) is you haven't already seen them. ;)