Some call it aspirational luxury, others call it a lifestyle brand. And some just know it by the half-naked models that represent it season after season. Now, American brand Abercrombie & Fitch is making its Middle East debut in Dubai next year. But no, there won’t be topless shop attendants at the till.
Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, the retail arm of conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim Ventures, announced on Monday it has signed an agreement with the company to bring the brand to the region – and that while stores will remain true to the brand, they will be appropriate for here.
“The Abercrombie & Fitch store, environment, and teams will be respectful to the culture of the region and its sensitivities, whilst maintaining the brands values and identity,” Asil Attar, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Fashion, told tabloid!
“The brand exudes the same spirited energy as our young, modern consumer and we’re confident that it will resonate amongst our core audiences. We will work closely with Abercrombie & Fitch to ensure we remain true to the brand’s lifestyle concept, and work on a strategic rollout plan to increase the brand’s presence across the region,” she added.
Abercrombie & Fitch, often referred to as A&F, is known for its topless ‘Abercrombie hunks’ and anonymous six-packs that often dot their stores around the world and its edgy, sexually-charged campaigns. The brand has been criticised in the past for use of explicit images of pre-teens, for its alleged limited racial diversity in staff and for apparently relegating disabled employees to back offices because they didn’t fit with the brand’s ‘look’.
The company operates more than 266 A&F stores in the US and 19 stores internationally. Other brands including Hollister, which is also coming to the UAE, Gilly Hicks and abercrombie kids.
No specific opening date or location for the A&F stores have been announced.