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April 10, 2007 | Manolo for the Men
Archive - April 10, 2007

You Had Me at “Hello”

Abercrombie & Fitch in-store models

An intrepid British reporter went undercover as an in-store model at the new London branch of Abercrombie & Fitch, a brand that, in Izzy’s mind, is popular with obnoxious, spoiled frat boys despite—or because of?—the explicit homoeroticism in its advertising and store displays. (The flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue features a giant mural of barely-clothed men climbing ropes in gym class. At many stores, the women’s department likewise features smutty photos of nymphets. Not for nothing has the brand been called Abercrombie & Filth.)

While interviewing for the job, the writer, presumably as ripped as the in-store living mannequins above (complete with matching widow’s peaks, areolae, and angular lower abdominals that come to a rude vertex), discovered that

that the company had a “tagline” which we would have to use when greeting customers. [The interviewer] explained, very seriously, that it was, “Hello, how are you?” “How did you come up with that?” I asked. She said a company of marketing consultants had worked intensively at developing it.

They wanted to audition me to see if I could deliver the line – this was make or break. “Hello, how are you?!” I said clearly. “Very good” she reassured me.

I had cleared my first hurdle and said four words in the right order, a test that floored some of my fellow-would-be-models – honestly.

It seems likely that those would-be models received their education at the Derek Zoolander Center for Children Who Can’t Read Good.

Bright Sol

Sol LeWittSol LeWitt Wall Drawing No. 752

Ever since becoming attuned to clothing, Izzy has been fascinated by the attire of visual artists due to their superior sensibility to color and form. So while reading the recent obituary of Sol LeWitt, Izzy was pleased to discover that the shy, modest artist would combine a conservative tweed jacket with an eye-popping magenta shirt, a fitting choice for the enthusiast of cheerful colors who once called one his paintings ”Loopy Doopy (Red and Purple).”