Abercrombie & Fitch

April 7, 2000

If you haven't seen an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog recently, you will be in for quite surprise. Dennis Rainey of FamilyLife Today has been talking about their ads, as has Chuck Colson. But now even secular leaders and their organizations have expressed their concerns about what appears between the catalog covers.

The once-sterile and stodgy catalogs were changed as the company has tried to refashion itself as a place for teenagers to buy clothes. In doing so, they feature nude photos, sex advice, and drinking advice.

Dennis Rainey has called for Christians to boycott the stores. Christian talk show hosts and commentators have encouraged letter writing. And now the business magazines and newspapers are starting to report that sales are dropping. Analysts are saying it may say more about the fickle buying habits of teenagers. I think it may be due to public outrage.

You see, Christians aren't the only ones upset with Abercrombie & Fitch. Mothers Against Drunk Driving protested the drinking article so effectively that the company recalled that particular catalog. The Michigan Attorney General even attempted to keep the catalog out of the hands of children because the photos were deemed pornographic.

So it was essentially a loose and unorganized coalition of people who were having an impact on the company. Christians deserve their share of the credit, but we should also acknowledge the part others played as well.

And perhaps that is a lesson. If Christians are going to make an impact in the public arena, they need to work with others who may not even be Christians. The broad coalition of people protesting Abercrombie & Fitch appears to have made a difference.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.