Monday, 29 June 2009

Abercrombie & Fitch, London

Abercrombie and Fitch is an American fashion brand, and i came across this when my friend took me (rather FORCED ME) to the London store.

The location of A & F in London is rather peculiar and out of the way. It was rather difficult to find, just off Regent Street, halfway between Oxford Circus and Picadilly Circus, and you had to go through several backstreets to access.

However, it occupies one large building which is rather impressive, although i did not spot any windows, and wandered in with my friends.

Upon entering, two staff by either doors greeted us, whilst in front of us was a very well sculpted topless male model, taking free polaroid pictures with shoppers. Whilst this will be a rather positive consumer "attraction" for some, it IS a clothing store, and being topless isn't going to sell CLOTHES (well, nudity seems to sell everything nowadays, but STILL).

One word to sum up the atmosphere is DARK. It is extremely dimly lit, and i stumbled quite a few times. Also, things were incredibly difficult to find, rather like a palace, and you had to do alot of walking around to find what you are looking for. I, personally, were not looking FOR anything, so was able to observe, and it is apparant that it is immensely dark, and difficult to see the products on sale. Also, the colour is inevitably going to be different in store and in natural sunlight, which is rather inconvenient, if it appears different in real life.

What's also an annoyance is the really loud party music, the vibrations of which could be felt.

Whilst this atmosphere may appeal to its target market of upper east side socialites (aka Gossip Girl inhabitants), the whole store feels like a Blair Waldorf Upper east side party, minus drinks.

But what is more annoying than the atmosphere, are the products themselves. They look very generic and are NOT unique, as you would expect from a premium fashion label. You can most likely find these products from other high street stores such as H&M or Topman. My friend who wore A&F shorts found the exact same pair, pretty much identical in NEXT, for almost 1/4 of the price.

The products, to be summed up in one word, is "socialite" and anything you see on Gossip Girl or 90210 can probably be found in here! It appears to have a small target market, and does not have a great range of clothes, mostly casual to smart casual. They do not seem to have a formal section, but if so we were not able to find it!

They have a whole denim section which is a plus, and they have a t-shirt, shorts, trousers section etc, and is very neatly piled, and ordered. However, i have to criticize the high walls of products, making it almost impossible for the average consumer to reach, and thus MUST ask a staff for assistance, which is rather inconvenient during busy times.

Prices are also rocket high, and out of the items we've viewed, shirts are around £50, shorts around £40 and T-shirts around £30. And once again, i stress that similar items can be purchased for much cheaper elsewhere, hence you are ultimately buying the label only, which in my opinion is VERY pointless and a waste of money during this credit crunch.

The store feels overstaffed. Everywhere you look, there are one or two staff members, making you feel like they are watching you, but they aren't really helping. Most of them just talk to each other, some dancing to the loud music, others just walking around aimlessly. The don't seem to have a defined uniform either, which made it inconvenient if you needed assitance. Some wore checkered shirts, others wore grey tops... and this made it very very confusing, as i even saw quite a few male staff try on in store clothes and wear those instead!

The queues at the checkout were also massive, and they seemed to have a limited amount of cashiers, perhaps 5, but less than 3 were functioning today. This would've been a major negative factor if i purchased at this store!

I am sure many people love this store and the clothes, but personally, I do not see myself wearing 80% of these clothes! Again, the clothes shout "US socialite" and "Gossip Girl", and are completely not what i would wear, as everyone wearing this just makes it so generic, and for this price, really big NO. If you want to dress like Nate Archibald, go right in.

The atmosphere is not for a shop, and more of a nightclub, and on a hot and stuffy day, you just don't want to be there.

Perhaps going and visiting will be an experience, and seeing different shops. I have to say it is rather unique as I've never visited a store like this, but I certainly won't be visiting again for the products.

NOTE: When google imaging this brand, pages of topless torsos appear... It IS a clothing brand right? If so, PUT ON SOME CLOTHES.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Tate Modern: Bodyspacemotionthings

Today we went to the Tate Modern for their Bodyspacemotionthings exhibtion, which is a recreation of one that happened a couple of decades ago (I think), and is a fully interactive exhibition, and is about how people interact together and with the objects around them...

Most of the exhibtion is made of wooden structures for you to climb, balance, play on, and it was really fun... almost like an adult playground...

It was quite restricting with queuing, waiting your turn, being supervised by staff, which was a shame, as it should be really free and about how people work out and interact with these shapes and structures...

Quite tiring to be honest but all the while worth it! Lots of fun :)

Other pictures:


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