WWW – The new Abercrombie & Fitch magazine is doing something its predecessor — a catalog that flirted with soft-porn status — never did: hardly raising an eyebrow.
The publication, which sells for $2.50 and is now available at A&F stores, is considerably less bulky than the discontinued A&F Quarterly. The magazine’s theme is “Sky. Nature. Grass.” and features 27 rising stars such as the O.C.’s Chris Carmack and actress Michelle Trachtenberg in A&F clothing, as well as the regular crop of A&F models.
And not a bare bum or breast is exposed on its 63 pages.
A little pelvic-bone flashing, yes. Bare-chested men, yes. Models on their hands and knees in the high grass, yes. But no gratuitous nudity or group situations of a sexual nature.
Still, not everyone is satisfied with the sanitized version.
Phil Burress, president of Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, a vocal critic of the clothing store chain’s marketing campaigns, says the company is headed in the right direction by cleaning up its publications, but asserts that A&F is missing the larger message.
“From a pictoral standpoint and message standpoint, it’s much toned down,” he says. “But they still don’t get it. They’re still using sex to sell their product, and when you do that, you’re polluting an entire generation.”
Burress, who sees the magazine because his stepdaughter is on A&F’s mailing list, says some of the pictures and clothing in the magazine give impressionable young minds a warped view on how they’re supposed to look and act.
“I still charge A&F for not caring about the next generation,” Burress says.
Abercrombie & Fitch officials could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Columbus, Ohio-based A&F has become a target of parents and conservative groups because of its racy pictures in the old quarterlies. The last edition, the Christmas Field Guide, appeared in stores last winter with a cover line promoting “ice hockey, chivalry, group sex & more.”
Another pro-family group, Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, took out print ads in select markets across the nation (including Houston), asking readers who objected to A&F’s advertising practices to boycott its stores.
Vicky Morales, who is from Monterrey, Mexico, and was shopping at the A&F in the Galleria, says the new magazine is more professional than the previous product.
“I think this one is a little better. It has more stars, and it’s more serious,” says the 18-year-old, flipping through the magazine. “If people want to see porn, they should pick out something else, not this.”