Abercrombie & Fitch has announced that it will no longer hire in-store employees based on looks and will be taking steps to remove sexualized images from store décor and marketing materials.

Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Get Makeover

Abercrombie & Fitch, or A&F, and its sister brand, Hollister, are both getting a serious makeover courtesy of new Brand Presidents, Christos Angelides (A&F) and Fran Horowitz (Hollister), in the wake of CEO Mike Jeffries’ retirement. The stores, known for their overly sexualized atmosphere – both have featured parades of shirtless male models in order to entice customers – will now be model-free.

A&F has recently been plagued by bad press, as more and more stories emerged claiming that the store hired sales associates based on looks, calling them ‘models’ and regulating everything from weight to hairstyle. Furthermore, CEO Jeffries was quoted as saying he only wanted “cool, good-looking people” to wear his clothes, and an independent consultant alleged that Jeffries had explicitly stated he didn’t want any overweight people shopping at Abercrombie.

A&F, Hollister Will No Longer Hire Based On Appearance

On Friday, April 24, A&F announced brand new company policies with the goal of getting rid of its elitist, sexualized image. A&F and Hollister chains will stop hiring sales associates “based on body type or physical attractiveness” and the employee dress code will also be “replaced by a new dress code, with an open-minded approach allowing associates to be more individualistic.”

New policies also include getting rid of the over sexualized images and models used to promote the stores. Abercrombie & Fitch “will no longer use shirtless models for store openings and events,” while Hollister “will no longer use shirtless lifeguards for store openings and events.”

Furthermore, by the end of July, in-store photos will no longer feature half-naked models; neither will the store bags, gift cards or other marketing materials, including their infamous catalogues which traditionally featured more skin than clothing. However, the official press release noted that the A&F ‘Fierce’ cologne would retain the shirtless image as it is “consistent with the fragrance industry.”

Finally, the chains announced plans to change the in-store ambiance. For Hollister, that means adding lighting to their traditionally very dark stores, and for A&F, hopefully this signifies an attempt at spraying less of their perfume in the store. “Improved sensory experience: adjust scent, lighting, music and trees to ensure a more pleasurable shopping experience,” promises the statement.

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