Once upon a time, Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t shill its wares with shirtless men and scantily clad women standing outside in all kinds of frightful weather to lure frat boys and the girls who cling to them into the store.
Back in the 1934, the retailer, which was founded in 1892, was best known for its high-end sportswear and outdoor goods:
One of Abercrombie and Fitch’s executives holidaying in the Catskills made a super-find. He stumbled upon a colony of self-exiled French Canadians who cling to old customs, forgetting all others. Their women knit for their men-folk, mittens — unbelievably warm ones—like nothing to be found in this country. They are of white yarn with individual designs on the back. These women were finally persuaded to click their needles more rapidly and give this surplus to Abercrombie and Fitch. They cost under $4, but you’ll have to hurry, because these Canadian knitters won’t.
There is so much to love in this post and none of it involves mocking Joan Klein. I am giving her a reprieve in favor of going after a different beloved target—the French.
Klein’s find of the week are mittens made by “self-exiled French Canadians who cling to old customs,” which I presume means that they fancy themselves to be French. This despite the fact that continentals probably don’t consider Québécois — who long for a halcyon past when they were a colony of France — to be true Frenchmen. Ah, pre-1763, the good ol’ days.
Miraculously, the Abercrombie & Fitch exec convinced these women to be more industrious—very un-French—and produce more quickly.
Today, Abercrombie & Fitch also carries gloves, if not the type made by French Canadians.
Worn without a shirt, they accentuate the biceps and triceps.