New look

Megan Rapinoe, Gus Kenworthy, Ryan Russell star in Abercrombie campaign

Images: Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch has unveiled a new ‘Face Your Fierce’ ad campaign, and it notably wants to showcase more diversity than previous images associated with the brand.

Adverts that appeared on social media yesterday to promote the A&F’s ‘Fierce’ family of fragrances feature several LGBTQ faces.

These include Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, World Cup-winning soccer player Megan Rapinoe, footballer Ryan Russell, plus-size model Michael McCauley (below), British rugby player Keegan Hirst, ballet dancer Harper Watters, comedian Andy Lalwani, and trans activists Laith Ashley and Leyna Bloom.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by America’s Favorite Teddy Bear🧸 (@michaelrobertmccauley) on

In total, 24 athletes, performers and activists are included in the campaign. It also includes Paralympian Scout Bassett, and body positivity model Halle Hathaway.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Laith Ashley [De La Cruz]🇩🇴 (@laith_ashley) on

It makes a change from the models typically associated with A&F, which has faced criticism in the past for its rigid beauty aesthetics.

Related: Abercrombie & Fitch tweets that “Pride is for straight people, too.” Internet goes berserk

Seven years ago it was slammed when it was revealed the brand didn’t carry women’s XL or XXL sizes. Before this, in 2007, its then CEO, Mike Jeffries, told Salon, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla.”

Going on its new campaign, A&F has done a 180-degree u-turn.

In a statement, Abercrombie said, “Throughout the year-long campaign, cast members will share their experiences of body positivity, self-empowerment, determination, LGBTQ+ equality, gender equality, overcoming obstacles, and more, all to inspire customers to explore the unexpected and emotional aspects of inner strength.”

Rapinoe told People magazine she had been delighted to be asked to take part.

“I jumped at it right away. I mean, what a cool opportunity to be part of a big brand and a big national campaign with the lineup that they have,” she said. “My high school self is like, ‘Oh my God, this is insane.’”

“Fierce to me means just being who you are and feeling confident in being that person,” she said. “And I feel very lucky to have people around me in the family who really support me and make me feel it’s good to be that way.”

Ryan Russell, who came out as bisexual in 2019, said in an Instagram posting, “This past year being Fierce for me was about being honest. Honest about who I was and who I wanted to be.”

Keegan Hirst also posted to his Instagram, saying, “It’s a privilege to be part of a campaign that includes so many people who are fierce in so many different ways.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Keegan Hirst (@keeganhirst) on

Body positivity model Michael McCauley said, “When I started modeling a little over a year ago I never would have believed you if you’d said I’d become an Abercrombie and Fitch model!

“People want to see REAL people in the clothes they’re buying and I think most people can relate to guys like me. This isn’t a fashion statement. Beefy dudes are here to stay!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Abercrombie & Fitch (@abercrombie) on

Related: Colton Haynes’ new Abercrombie photos aren’t half as hot as his others