For its next act, Abercrombie & Fitch will likely stick to what it knows best — the teen and contemporary market, according to analysts and financial sources.
While the company has been tight-lipped about what’s in store for its next concept, analysts are betting that it will be the launch of an accessories or intimates brand. “I have heard [speculation] that Abercrombie & Fitch has hired away some talent from Victoria’s Secret,” said Kimberly Greenberger, specialty retail analyst at Citigroup.
The apparel retailer has already done well with intimates and dormwear at Abercrombie & Fitch stores, especially around the holidays. With competing teen retailer American Eagle profiting from its new intimates subbrand aerie, and the possibility of the company extending the line into its own concept, Abercrombie might be looking to get a piece of the action.
“While there is already a market share in this division, with Victoria’s Secret Pink and American Eagle’s aerie, it is a repeat customer who is always buying underwear,” said Christine Chen, senior research analyst at Pacific Growth Equities.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s intimate brand would likely be less feminine than aerie and Pink, especially since chairman and chief executive officer Michael Jeffries is very protective of the masculine heritage of the brand, Greenberger said.
Abercrombie has had extremely successful launches in the past, most prominently with the teen line Hollister. But Wall Street is becoming more speculative about the ability of retailers to penetrate the intimate apparel business.
“I’ve seen many great retailers have mediocre success in breaking into the bra business. It is the most difficult new concept to launch with the lowest success rate,” Greenberger said. “But I’d be more than willing to bet on [Abercrombie to succeed].”
Although it seems an intimates concept is likely, in a third-quarter conference call to Wall Street the company said there’s money to be made in accessories. “The accessory business offers us a huge potential — huge, huge, huge. And I’m just a jerk that I’ve not been able to build more volume in the past, but I’m really on that track now,” Jeffries said.The company sells leather products at all of its divisions, but has extended its offerings of handbags at the retailer’s Ruehl store, which targets the 30-year-old shopper.
So while it’s hazy what exactly the new concept will be, one thing is clear: The company will not tread into Baby Boomer territory. “I have to say I don’t think it’s in our DNA to really do business with mature people,” said Jeffries on the call.
“We also know that given the company’s history with advocacy groups and the raciness of the current brand, a baby concept seems unlikely,” said Thomas Filandro, retail analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, in a research note.
Abercrombie & Fitch has been investing more money into its next concept this year than they have in the past, causing analysts to believe an announcement of their plans may come sometime in 2007, with store rollout not until late 2008.
Investing on the new, unnamed concept was included in recent capital expenditures of $50 million, the company said on the call.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)