Of course, Abercrombie & Fitch is riddled with controversy. This year’s documentary White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch addresses the brand’s alleged hiring practices, which favored white employees with lean and fit bodies. “It is not my intention to recreate what Abercrombie & Fitch did or promoted,” Allen says. “My intention is to promote and build a brand identity with a new perspective with this familiar product.”
His obsession boils down to the quality of Abercrombie & Fitch of yesteryear. “The tech and fleece vests are all Patagonia quality,” he says. “All the distressing and vintage details are super authentic and not artificial at all.” Allen is not the only collector; there is a community of Abercrombie & Fitch archivists in Japan, which is primarily where he gets his pieces. “While the runways informed what the mall brands were doing in terms of design, they – A&F, etc. – didn’t skimp on the quality of the pieces.” He makes the comparison with a pair of jeans. “I have Gap leather 5-pocket bootcut jeans that are exactly the same quality and fit as a pair of Tom Ford-era Guccis,” he says. And as a testament to the quality, Allen currently keeps the first piece he ever bought, a multicolored striped Shetland wool sweater in his freezer.
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