Shirts on, Boys. Abercrombie Says It’s Done With Sexualized Marketing

Brand will now focus on 'showcasing product and trends'

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

Have we seen the last of Abercombie & Fitch's shirtless models?

In an attempt to refresh the brand, Abercrombie is looking to shake off its ab-oriented image. By the end of July, the brand, along with its sister brand Hollister, will no longer use sexualized marketing tactics, including its famed shirtless in-store models. 

"We have moved away from sexualized marketing," Mackenzie Bruce, spokeswoman for Abercrombie, told Adweek. "Today, our marketing has undergone a significant evolution. We are using mostly color images and are focused on showcasing product and trends." 

The brands will tone down their marketing materials, including in-store photos, gift cards, and shopping bags. For Abercrombie, that means no more shirtless models for store openings or other special occasions; for Hollister, the brand will no longer use shirtless lifeguards at its events. 

Bruce explained further that the brand is "focused on the future" and that, "product and customer experience are the primary focus."  

The company announced the new marketing slant—which it will work on with internal and external creative teams and agencies that Bruce declined to name—along with several organizational changes, including a revamped hiring policy for both brands' stores and a commitment to inclusion and diversity.

The changes come as the brand looks to buoy itself. Long-time CEO Michael Jeffries resigned in December, following the brand's latest disappointing sales. 

You can get a sense of Abercrombie's new aesthetic in its recent posts to Instagram and other social channels:


A photo posted by Abercrombie & Fitch (@abercrombie) on



New Season, #NewArrivals. Head to your local A&F for a #Summer refresh.

A photo posted by Abercrombie & Fitch (@abercrombie) on


@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.