Hemingway Vs. The Situation in a battle for the soul of Abercrombie & Fitch

Posted by Jason Diamond

Abercrombie & Fitch has spent the last fifteen or so years as the official clothing company of people you probably wouldn’t want to hang out with, so it’s somewhat shocking that they’d come out and tell a guy like The Situation that they don’t want him wearing their clothing anymore.

But there was a time when A&F didn’t make clothing for your little brother’s fraternity or Jersey Shore guidos.  The company was a fishing and hunting supplier who made clothes not unlike L.L. Bean or Pendleton, and was the #1 choice of clothing for Ernest Hemingway.

From Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir By A. E. Hotchner:

Ernest’s attitude toward New York shopping was the same as his attitude towards movie-going; he circled for days ad then finally made the distasteful plunge.  In no area was his innate shyness more pronounced than in a store.  The mere sight of sales counters and salespeople caused him to break out into sweat, and he either bought the first thing they showed him or bolted before they got the merchandise off the racks.  The one exception to this shopping syndrome was Abercrombie & Fitch, especially its gun department and shoe department.  But even at Abercrombie’s a salesman in the clothing department would have been well advised to hold Ernest by the sleeve while turning his back to get a trench coat off the rack.

If I remember correctly, Hemingway also drags Lillian Ross to a A&F in her famous 1950 New Yorker profile on him. And the most fitting and tragic connection to the company of all was that the shotgun that the writer used to take his own life in 1961, was purchased at Abercrombie & Fitch.


  1. Yeah … but a lot of people are thinking this new one is just a publicity stunt. After all, a new season of The Jersey Shore just aired and it’s back to school season, so what better way to get teens into the A&F stores?