The name Abercrombie conjures up more than just a brand of clothing, but more of an entire lifestyle. Primarily aimed at young adults, Abercrombie clothing is known for being classically styled, chick, sporty, and a bit preppy. The persona that the clothing evokes is that of an old money family, with the best quality and style, but an ultimate attitude of insouciance about it.
Cheap Abercrombie clothing is like the holy grail of shopping for young folks who want to look great but are on a tight budget. They know their apparel wears well, usually looking better with age. Casual luxury is a look that many people aspire to, and that's what the brand is about.
Ed Hardy is another brand that is a big hit among young adults. Hardy, a well-known tattoo artist, has licensed his art for use on clothing since 2002, and young people have responded very enthusiastically. Ed Hardy stores are now located in many world capitals, including places you might not expect, like Dubai and New Delhi. This is another brand that young people pounce on when they find it at a great sale price.
The worldwide economic downturn that began in 2008 has made it harder for many young people starting out their adult lives to afford the brands they love best, and so they cope by buying fewer pieces than perhaps they want, buying them on sale, buying them at consignment stores, and getting them through the time-honored method of having them handed down from friends. Finding a source of discount Abercrombie, Ed Hardy, or other popular brands like Adidas, Juicy, or American Eagle is big deal if you're a young 20-something with a tight budget and college loans to pay back.
Why are these brands such a big hit? Perhaps the main reason is that they provide exactly what today's young adults look for: comfort, up-to-the-minute styling, and great fit. The workplace has changed quite a bit over the past 20 to 30 years, and wearing a pressed shirt and tie to the office is a foreign concept to a generation that grew up with Google, seeing highly-paid executives going to work in a t-shirt and jeans.
But people don't just want casual, they want style too. When casual clothing is cut correctly, and made from materials that are comfortable and that conform to the body without being tight, they look better, and that's important whether you're at work, hanging with friends, or trying to impress that special someone.
While the look for work and social occasions is far more casual than it used to be, that doesn't mean there's no such thing as style anymore. On the contrary, style conscious people today are probably more demanding than ever, choosing clothes that not only look great, but feel great, last, are easy to care for, and are reasonably priced.
A handful of chic casual brands have figured out how to fulfill these consumer needs and have experienced great success because of it. There's little question that the casual luxury lifestyle brands have staked out an important place in American style culture.