Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi speaks with Abercrombie & Fitch Co. CEO, Fran Horowitz, about the company’s partnership with the D’Amelio sisters, and outlook for fashion as the pandemic slows down.
BRIAN SOZZI: Abercrombie and Fitch has proven to have a knack for driving sales of youth apparel via social media channels like TikTok and Instagram. And the company announced today it's doubling down on those efforts. Abercrombie is teaming up with social media sensations Charli and Dixie D'Amelio to launch a new brand called Social Tourist at Hollister.
Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz joins us now with all the details. Fran, good to see you as always. You know, I remember over-- I think it was about a year ago, we were talking about holiday 2019 earnings. And you told me, Brian, watch out for these two. And my reply was, I don't even know who they are, but OK, Fran, I will watch out for these two stars. And they have blown up on social media. So why exactly are you launching this?
FRAN HOROWITZ: Well, I think you just summed it up, Brian. It was a partnership that started with them back-- for back to school 2020. They are the leading social media influencers out there today. Charli is still the number one most followed influencer on TikTok. They have over 250 million followers between all of their social channels. And we have a terrific, terrific partnership with them. We've been together now for months. Our family and their family have gotten to know each other. And we work together so well. As we, at Hollister, are really in touch with that Gen Z consumer, so are they. And we are learning every day from each other. It's terrific.
BRIAN SOZZI: Yeah, I still am unsure how they create some of those videos. But I'm going to try hard and create some of my own on TikTok, which I just joined. So take us through the collection. When I walk into a Hollister store, where will it appear? And what type of products are you debuting with?
FRAN HOROWITZ: OK, so what's exciting is you can find the product on socialtourist.com, as well as in all our Hollister stores around the world. It will be front and center when you first walk into the store. And the way that the girls have conceived the line, along with our design team, is in four segments. So the first segment is the most fashion forward piece of the line. It's really at the top of the fashion trend pyramid. It's going to come in monthly. We'll have quick drops. It'll be in and out. So buy fast. Then we're going to have another more logo driven piece of the line, which will be gender inclusive. Third piece, which will be elevated basics, and then swim. So, again, socialtourist.com and all of the Hollister stores around the world, exclusively.
BRIAN SOZZI: We've talked about in the past how you've taken the brand more into the social selling model. How-- is that changing how the brand is perceived? And what are the sales? How do you drive sales from this?
FRAN HOROWITZ: Well, it's super exciting, Brian. Social commerce is definitely the wave of the future. We've been on that for quite some time now. And we're seeing incredible response to it. Selling through TikTok, selling through Instagram, selling through our own channels as well is the way that these kids are navigating the web every single day. And we were right there along with them.
BRIAN SOZZI: Does this mean-- does this partnership mean you're going back to focusing in on teens? Because if I recall right, it wasn't, you know, a couple of years ago that your-- I think pivoted a little bit more to an older demographic. But these two are-- they're young. They're still in school.
FRAN HOROWITZ: No, these girls are right in our core demographic. Hollister is the global iconic teen brand, digitally led, super exciting. Abercrombie is the brand that we've aged up a bit to really focus on that young millennial in their mid 20s.
BRIAN SOZZI: So talk to us about current apparel trends. What is the post-pandemic look?
FRAN HOROWITZ: Well, the consumer appears to be very healthy out there, Brian. You and I chatted after our fourth quarter call, so you know that we had a strong fourth quarter and entered this year with momentum. We're in a bit of a quiet period right now. So you and I will chat again in a few weeks, and we can talk about the first quarter.
BRIAN SOZZI: Is it-- are people buying jeans? There was a cool story recently in "The Wall Street Journal." People are now buying things with zippers and buttons again, as opposed to elastic waistbands. Do you see that?
FRAN HOROWITZ: I love the way you put that. Yes, absolutely. We came out of the fourth quarter with a very strong denim business. He and she are both buying denim. There's a lot happening in fashion denim right now between the rise, between the leg opening, between the washes. It's an exciting time for denim. And candidly, even in the fourth quarter, Brian, we sold a lot of fashion. Dresses started to sell extremely well. So he and she are ready to get back out there.
BRIAN SOZZI: And what about colors?
FRAN HOROWITZ: It's interesting. There's a lot of different things happening. Colors, I would say, right now, pastel and lighter palettes are what's happening.
BRIAN SOZZI: All right, well, we'll leave it there for right now. Abercrombie and Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz, it's always good to see you. I don't know if this new apparel line is for me per se, but I will be on the lookout for it in your stores. We'll talk to you soon.
FRAN HOROWITZ: Well, before you go, Brian, make sure you sign up for socialtourist.com because there's going to be some sneak peeks into what's happening before we launch on May 20.
BRIAN SOZZI: Well, I just signed up for TikTok, so why not this? Fran Horowitz, always good to see you.
FRAN HOROWITZ: Awesome. Thanks so much for today.