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Transforming Abercrombie: The Multibillion Dollar Rebrand

Published on February 15, 2o24, 11:47 p.m.
by Halston Seton.

When you walk into an Abercrombie store, your eyes don’t instantly tear up from the smell of men’s cologne anymore. Better yet, there’s enough light throughout the store so you can actually see the clothes you might end up purchasing. That game-changing rebrand took place in 2015, but Abercrombie’s 2021 rebrand brought in a whole new market, and everyone is raving about it.

Photo via Abercrombie

Fran Horowitz: A rebranding icon

In 2017, Abercrombie appointed a new CEO: Fran Horowitz, a loyal employee since 2014. Horowitz is the woman responsible for Hollister’s rebrand prior to joining the Abercrombie team. In a recent interview, she stated that she joined the sister companies due to the brand-building opportunity and the nostalgic appeal these brands were able to convey.

It is extremely obvious that Horowitz has not only accomplished but succeeded in her goals. She came into her senior position wanting to make a change in not only the fashion industry but also in the public relations field. She used her talents to transform Abercrombie into a brand that exemplifies the values of consumers in the 21st century.

Image is everything

Photo via Adobe Stock by Slyellow

Before the actual inventory comes into play, the perception of the brand comes first. When PR professionals have to change the minds of potential consumers, they take on a challenge. Abercrombie was known for its preppy, exclusive style but has evolved into a realistic, classy style. The brand’s previous logo — a moose — is out, and simplicity is in. The refined, clean image that Abercrombie put out after its rebrand, is what lured consumers in initially, but its upscale, yet affordable clothes are what made them loyal.

Horowitz said she envisioned the brand being “aged up,” turning into a young millennial brand. She said that she, along with public relations professionals, studied their ideal consumer. At first, they wanted Abercrombie to be able to clothe a full-time, working class, 40-year-old woman for the entirety of her weekend. This multifaceted wardrobe included wedding guest dresses, activewear, pajamas and more. After this goal was achieved, Horowitz thought bigger: These women should be able to wear Abercrombie in the office too, and that is exactly what she did.

Photo via Abercrombie

Inclusivity is in; exclusivity is out

What does every woman wish there was more of? Comfortable, office-appropriate pants. The “Sloan Pant” made its debut about a year ago, and people can’t get enough of them. The idea behind these trousers was that any woman could wear them all day from work to play.

These trousers quickly broke the internet. TikTok micro-influencers showed their followers how the “Sloan Pant” can be worn in several ways, creating an inclusive, diverse audience for the brand. Within this rebrand, Abercrombie exhibited diversity by developing pant styles to fit every type of body with its regular, curved, short and long fits. It’s affordable yet versatile pieces that have expanded Abercrombie’s market in a way like never before, and the numbers show it.

Unpredicted results

In 2023, Abercrombie produced its highest revenue ever due to its loyal student and businesswomen demographics. The brand plans to hit $5 billion in yearly sales by 2025.

Abercrombie’s stock is steadily increasing every day, which is something no investor could have seen coming. Everyone is wondering what’s next for Abercrombie and Fran Horowitz, while other brands are hopping on the trend of an “inclusive rebrand”.

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