Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Abercrombie & Fitch, Dublin: the press preview (without pictures)

This afternoon was the Abercrombie & Fitch Dublin press preview, where invited members of the Irish press came along to the Dame Street store and, er, wandered around. Outside, a bevvy of relatively handsome (ahem) A&F boys gathered on the …

Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 15:22

   

This afternoon was the Abercrombie & Fitch Dublin press preview, where invited members of the Irish press came along to the Dame Street store and, er, wandered around. Outside, a bevvy of relatively handsome (ahem) A&F boys gathered on the steps in red puffa jackets and (sadly) shirts, posing for photographs with passersby while, inside, a “shirtless greeter” (that is the official title) posed for photographs with members of the elite (the press).

We were told, before going in, that we would not be allowed to take photographs, and no photographers were allowed inside. It makes the business of being a blogger slightly difficult when your methods of documentation are curbed, but y’all have imaginations and I still have my words, so let’s pretend we’re taking a visual tour.

Abercrombie & Fitch is very, very dark. It is a little like what I’d imagine Jack Wills would be like, if the power had all been stripped off and there had been a disastrous chemical explosion in the perfume factory above, so all you’re left with is sporadic spotlighting and the stench – sorry, I mean aroma – of A&F’s “signature fragrance”, Fierce, pumping through the air conditioning.

Around every corner – and, what with all the enormous mahogany pillars and floor-length mirrors, there seem to be a lot of corners – stands a young man or woman in jeans, a check shirt or a light knit sweater. They are all good-looking, with perfect teeth. They all smile at you and say “hey, what’s going on?” in what can only be described as an American fashion. On my visit, one of the other members of the press turned around and said, “it’s a pity they didn’t hire Irish people”. “They did,” I told her. They have been trained to speak like that: Big smiles, a bit of dancing (to very loud music) and, “Hey, what’s going on?” They all say the same thing.

The shop is only on one floor, but I get lost four times. I also get confused. I pick up a puffa jacket – pink, with a faux fur-lined hood. I check the price. It’s €250. Another journalist is astounded. “€250 for a kids’ jacket?” she says. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to tell her: “That’s not for kids.” “Where do your tits go?” she asks. Where, indeed.

I spend 10 minutes in the shop, and by the time I emerge, blinking, into the light, my mouth hurts from smiling back at the happy staff members. My clothes all smell like Fierce. I feel tired and old, and as if I must not step back through those doors until I have lost four stone.

There are people who love Abercrombie & Fitch, and there are those who don’t. The latter category will not easily be converted, and the former will not quickly grow tired of its particular brand of preppy, pungent frat-boy fashion. For D4 guys’n'gals who work out, go surfing and dream of one day going to college in New Hampshire, its opening is great news. For the rest of us – well. Life goes on.

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