Odd fit: Hollister, Calif. vs. Abercrombie
Don't believe everything you see in a clothing catalog, folks. Abercrombie & Fitch, the preppy, pretty-boy (and girl) Ohio-based clothing empire started its surf-wear style Hollister line in 2000. But, as Times business reporter Hugo Martín notes today, you're unlikely to find any of the "idyllic Southern California beach town" in Hollister, Calif. -- "incorporated in 1872, birthplace of American biker culture and inspiration for the 1953 film 'The Wild One,' starring Marlon Brando."
Martín adds that Abercrombie isn't as peaceful and sunny as its marketing team suggests, saying "residents say Abercrombie & Fitch has hijacked the town's name and threatened to sue merchants who sell clothes displaying it. Even worse, the company has refused to open an outlet that could help boost the slumping local economy."
"If they try, they would get a call and much more," David Cupps, general counsel for Abercrombie & Fitch tells Martín.
Them sounds like fighting words. But do you really want to take on a town known for motorcycle skirmishes?
So who's right? Should Abercrombie -- whose executives, to their credit, claim they came up with the name on their own -- be the only ones allowed to use the term? Read the rest of the article, then share your comments below.
-- Whitney Friedlander
Photo caption: Hollister, Calif., is a quiet agricultural town northeast of Monterey, surrounded by farmland. It’s a far cry from the imaginary beach town created by Abercrombie & Fitch for its line of surf-inspired clothing. Credit: Dave Getzschman / For The Times