19 Mar 2012

Saville Row

You’ve probably heard of Abercrombie and Fitch; hey, you might have even posed with one of their “bare men” in store. But it’s not exactly the brand that comes to mind when thinking of the prestigious Saville Row in London.
Saville Row
But the brand has recently set plans to open a new children’s store at Number Three, Saville Road. For those of you who aren’t well known with the address, it was the Apple Records Head Quarters, and the setting of the Beatles famous rooftop concert.

The proposed site on Saville Row for the new A&F store

Naturally, these plans have been met with fierce opposition from the more refined occupants of Saville Row. Concerns about the tone the new store would bring to the street have been brought up; or as one tailor quoted in the Guardian on Monday stated; “A chain store selling crappy clothes to ghastly people isn’t the direction we should be travelling”.
A&F, famous for its “preppy” style of merchandise, has not been without previous controversy. Anyone remember the story  of Riam Dean, the retail assistant with a prosthetic arm, who was ‘relieved’ of shop floor duty for breaking their ‘look policy’ – by wearing a cardigan to cover the prosthetic up. Or perhaps the story of Milan staff who were ‘punished’ by being made to do press-ups – for not looking happy enough. The company even offered the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ money to stop wearing their clothes on their show!
In defence of the brand; the clothes aren’t that bad. It’s a very preppy, americanised look, polo shirts, sweatshirts and the like; they manage to fit in with the Saville Row price range at least! Their range is popular, and I don’t think that what Saville Row thinks is going to affect them if they get their planning permission; as it’s said, if you build it, they will come.
What do you think? Should Abercrombie and Fitch stay away from Saville Row? Or should they move in and modernise the area?

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