NEW YORK — One-hundred-twenty-five hot young male and female models last week carried trays of vodka tonics, beer and shots of scotch. No, it wasn’t a frat party; it was the opening fete for the 27,000-square-foot Abercrombie & Fitch flagship at 720 Fifth Avenue, the chain’s largest store yet.
Besides the 1,000 guests — who included photographer Bruce Weber and TV personality Robert Verdi — the party featured a shirtless male model, Matt Ratliff, the face of the retailer’s holiday marketing campaign. Guests looking for a souvenir from the event had their photo taken with Ratliff for $10.
Abercrombie’s exclusive book by Weber titled “Rookie” also was sold at the party for $50, or $100 signed by Weber. From now until New Year’s Eve, Ratliff will be in the store daily to greet customers. The proceeds of the photos and book sales will go to the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
Sources said the store, which sits on four levels of selling space, should generate about $40 million in annual sales in the former Fendi site. That’s roughly twice the volume of A&F’s only other Manhattan site, a 16,800-square-foot store in the South Street Seaport.
This story first appeared in the November 14, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.