Branding: Design choice - Abercrombie & Fitch

The first thing you notice when approaching the Abercrombie & Fitch store near Piccadilly, in a gorgeous listed building just opposite the Royal Academy of Arts, is its lack of external branding.

Signposting for the entrance is delivered through the medium of sound, with music thumping out from behind the moodily lit entrance. The only branding is a subtle and audaciously confident gold logotype in about 30-point on the glass door.

Although I wonder whether the brand will retain its appeal now it is available here, you have to hand it to the designers: the store is as achingly beautiful as the assistants who work there. The lighting is low and atmospheric, which allows the exquisitely folded and beautifully illuminated garments to stand out in the monolithic 20ft-high shelving units.

The store could almost be an annex of the Royal Academy. Walls are decorated with exceptionally crafted Pre-Raphaelite-esque frescoes of the human form and the centrepiece is a massive bronze statue, slightly derivative of Michaelangelo's David.

Yes, the design is narcissistic and decadent, but this is de rigueur to a 20-something with a great figure and a trust fund.

Design: Raylian.

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