Currently, A&F is hugely symbolic in American high schools - and middle schools, too. People who wear Abercrombie are often well-to-do and attractive, and so they are thought of as "popular" or "preppy." Being teenagers, they are often very possessive of their popularity and are loath to accept or be friendly with other types of kids. "Other types" means those who want to dress or act differently than the A&F children.
To those who hate it, it represents either the kind of money-squandering that they can't afford, or the frivolous and cruel social structure that they can't be a part of. A&F clothes are often cheaply made and fall apart in the wash, or are made to show lots of skin, which is disturbing when seventh-graders are amassing closetfuls of it. Basically, it's clothing that they know isn't worth the money, but that they buy because it's cool and pretty much normal to do so.
Abercrombie symbolizes affluence, coolness, stylishness, fitting it, being popular, being hott with two t's, being normal, conforming, being mindless, being careless, being without inhibition. A&F symbolizes being a young person - you don't have to worry or work or do anything except study and play and flirt and look good. For its supporters, it is innocence, and for its opponents, it is ignorance. That's why Abercrombie is so hugely controversial.
AF Person: But she looks so cool. See, the naked guy over there is hot too. My older sister/The most popular girl in my class/that model wears A&F shirts. Maybe my mom will buy me this shirt. Maybe then I can look like her. I will look so good, who cares what it costs? I mean, if everyone else buys it then it's obviously not a bad deal, right? And it's so cute, who cares if it's a little flimsy? So you, you person with the problem, you just wish you could afford this/looked like me/were cool like me, right? Of course! Yeah, I'm still cool....
A&F Employee/Male Model:"Hey ladies theres a sale on jean marked down to only 129.99!"
Fag1:"I need to go to A&F and spend lots of money"
Fag2:"What did you say?"
Fag1:"I need to go to A&F"
Fag2:"No you didn't, what was that last part?"
Fag1:"Like whateva, girlfriend, you be trippin'"
Today A&F has 363 Abercrombie and Fitch stores,176 Abercrombie stores,249 Hollister Co. stores, 4 Ruehl 925 stores, making a tottal of 792 tottal stores across 4 brands.
Soon it will be opening 3 more Ruehl 925 stores.
Hott Chick: I know, now let's make out! PAssionatly!
Hipsters and emo fans hate it because the conformity and perceived airheaded-ness of Abercrombie shoppers reminds them of what they try to avoid becoming, but end up as anyway.
Abercrombie shoppers may not be the most original or stylish people in the world, but neither are you.
Note: I don't wear Abercrombie; I just find that bashing people's preference in clothing to be shallow and petty. Wear what you want.
"friend": "yea, i know, look at them all and their expensive clothes, i hate them because they wear them, why can't they be individuals like us...by the way, i like your black shirt and pants, they look just like mine."
Non-A&F Person: Because it's the cool thing to do.