LONDON — Abercrombie & Fitch's Quarterly is rising from the ashes — in a more cerebral and sophisticated form, but still with the nudity that made it infamous.
The retailer is marking the one-year anniversary of its London flagship with the relaunch of its quarterly, which will weigh in at 200 pages and cost a whopping 50 pounds, or about $100.
A&F sees the relaunch as a way to celebrate the London store's success. According to Tom Lennox, vice president of corporate communications, the store has exceeded internal expectations and is pulling in annual sales of $50 million. Sales per square foot are comparable to that of A&F's New York Fifth Avenue flagship, he said, although the profits are better in London.
The retailer will unveil the new version of its quarterly on April 5 at the store, which is located on the corner of Burlington Gardens and Savile Row. The book will feature erotic photography by Bruce Weber, who has long photographed A&F's bare-chested men (and women); editorial is overseen by Tyler Brûlé, founder of Wallpaper and Monocle magazines, and creative direction is by Sam Shahid.
The limited-run, case-bound book will be printed on heavy paper and distributed exclusively through the London store. The old quarterly was priced at $4 and was more of a magalogue.
"The London anniversary was a great opportunity for us to bring back the quarterly," said Lennox, adding the new title was a reflection of the brand's growth, evolution and more diverse audience.
A&F killed the original quarterly in December 2003 after six years and more than $100 million invested. That title had become an albatross, increasingly uncool to A&F's demographic which had, at the time, started to move on. It also had turned into a perennial public relations problem for the retailer, lambasted by a variety of groups for its liberal use of nudity, teen drinking and sex in advertising A&F products.
"Our audience is much wider today, they're more savvy, and have more of a global perspective. The old quarterly served its purpose and ran its course, and it was time for a change. It was about pranks — and more sophomoric," said Lennox.
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