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In trying to right the ship, it appears that Abercrombie & Fitch has taken some cues from one of its more successful competitors in very transparent fashion. Racked received a tip that Abercrombie is using a sneaker style that is actually exclusive to J.Crew to promote its own shoes.
That means that Abercrombie had to actually purchase these shoes from a J.Crew to then photograph it and put it on its site. Meanwhile, Abercrombie currently has eight styles of sneakers on its website for sale, but none of them are this J.Crew style.
The style in question is the New Balance for J.Crew 1400 sneaker. The shoe, with its "never-before-seen custom colors that [J.Crew's] design team cooked up in collaboration with New Balance," are unmistakable in Abercrombie's header image for its men's shoe section.
Hilariously, the copy for the shoes on J.Crew even reads, "Translation: You won't find these anywhere else."
We have reached out to Abercrombie for comment.
Update: An Abercrombie spokesman tells Racked, ""The photo included an incorrect image which we have now taken down." The shoes section on Abercrombie's website now features no header photo at all, see below.