The documentary on Abercrombie and Fitch from April 19 on Netflix

When we were in high school, it was the best: the best thing would be a vacation in New York (or better yet, in California) or having a friend kind enough to think of you while he was there. When it opened in central Milan from all over Italy, teenagers and their parents flocked to queue patiently, waiting to enter that cloud of perfume. Sweaters, jackets, and T-shirts with deer and Abercrombie and Fitch lettering may seem to us now just a testament to how stupid (and arrogant) we were at 15, but then they were a symbol of awesomeness. Not to mention the completely dark shops with ball music, the amazing intense fragrance and the topless models wandering aimlessly: practically hell for moms out of dressing rooms. But what happened to Abercrombie & Fitch? Did the American brand founded by David T. Abercrombie disappear along with our bows? Not really, but there is now a Netflix documentary to shed some light on the matter.

An Abercrombie & Fitch store in San Francisco

Justin SullivanGetty Images

Just watch the new trailer for White Hot: The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch Let’s understand that the story is more complex than the minds of young teenagers can imagine. The documentary opens Pandora’s Box to an organization apparently rooted in “discrimination at all levels”. Already, there have not only been incidents of being particularly offensive against Asian clients, but in 2003 a class action lawsuit was filed against the brand for discriminatory hiring practices. After all, exclusivity was integral to Abercrombie’s success: everything was built to make you want to be like the men in its ads, all white, beautiful, rich, and presented as the best face of America. But he went even further: it was not just exclusivity, it was real exclusion, discrimination, racism and, of course, class that led to it.

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Today, it seems that the pillars on which A&F has rested don’t hold up so much that the brand is at a loss, but the Netflix documentary also highlights all the hypocrisy of our society. They did not invent evil. They did not invent the chapter. They have packed it well.”You hear in the trailer and it’s true. After all, inside that paper bag with the bare torso and severed head off, it didn’t matter much what was in there, and it’s easy to tell that things really changed today.

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