Abercrombie & Fitch keeps stretching its definition of Gen Z style: In its Hollister division, it’s just announced a program with Bitmoji, so users can dress their tiny little avatars in Hollister fashion. And at the flagship A&F brand, it’s setting sail with a collection inspired by the nautical classics worn by President John F. Kennedy, generations before its target audience ever drew breath.
The Bitmoji partnership allows IOS and Android users to dress their avatars in 12 new outfits, with hoodies, tees, bottoms and shoes taken right from its spring collection, and use them in Snapchat.
“We aim to create emotional and engaging brand experiences where we know our customers are spending their time,” says Michael Scheiner, vice president of Hollister marketing, in its release. “For us, it is about discovery and we are interested in building a relationship with our customer; it’s not just about a transaction. This partnership with Bitmoji and Snapchat allows our brand to be even more embedded in our customers’ daily lives in an authentic and fun way.”
The New Albany, Ohio-based company also says its JFK-inspired capsule collection includes swimwear, fleece and chinos, which were worn by the 35th president, and are now part of the company’s archives. Calling him an American icon, it says it celebrates JFK’s “timeless style and adventurous spirit.”
The new launches come as the teen retailer continues to regain its footing. Last month, it announced sales in its more recent quarter climbed 15% for the fourth quarter, propelled by an 11% jump in same-store sales at Hollister, and a 5% increase at A&F. It says its operating income more than doubled, rising to $140.3 million.A
“Overall, 2017 was a year of significant progress,” says Fran Horowitz, its CEO, in its earnings report, with Hollister reaching $2 billion in sales, Abercrombie returning to positive comparable sales and record digital sales.