So while in Miami for New Years, I checked out Abercrombie and Fitch's new store concept called Gilly Hicks. Basically it is a women's intimates and lounge-wear store- think Victoria Secret meets Abercrombie. Now, I will not wax on about my personal feelings for Abercrombie and will not take those into consideration for the purpose of this review.
I actually do love the store. As with any of the Abercrombie brand stores, they go above and beyond to create a concept, physical store and overall shopping experience. In the spirit of Hollister and Ruehl (we don't have a Ruehl in Atlanta, but think an older version of Abercrombie, as in the Banana Republic of Abercrombie) the space is not just your average store. It is a gorgeous, dimly lit maze, filled with with dark cherry wood, small separate rooms with antique furniture, and crystal chandeliers.
Abercrombie likes to come up with a back-story or concept for all their stores. Here is the one that was conjured up for Gilly Hicks (click here for source info and complete article)
"The inspiration for Gilly Hicks came about from an Australian-themed concept two years in the making. Named after a fictional English girl named Gilly, the store’s layout and design is a reflection of her British colonial-style manor house on the shoreline of her home in Australia.
In the story, created by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO and Chairman, Michael Jeffries, the Hicks family traveled from England to Sydney in 1932. Years later, Gilly’s granddaughter returned to her grandmother Gilly’s historic manor house and opened up an underwear shop in the modern day."In the middle of the store is their fragrance section with old apothecary-style glass jars and elaborate displays of their signature fragrances and body care products. (I purchased the house scent called Le Perouse- it has a lilac base note which I love. My friend KJF hated the scent, so to each is own... I personally can't get enough of it).
The pièce de résistance of the whole experience is their "bra library" where they have over 40 different style to choose from. Shockingly, the sales associates (A&F likes to call them "brand reps") are actually very helpful and write down all the styles and sizes you try on, so that you can remember what worked of you.
As far as quality, I think that the prices are very reasonable for the product they deliver- ranging from $10-$55. If you happen to be in the Miami area (Aventura Mall), they are having a major sale now (along with the rest of the retail world).
I personally would recommend checking them out, if for nothing else than seeing the physical store, it really is amazing. Unfortunately, you cannot order their items online yet. I heard a rumor that the e-commerce portion of the site is going to be up in Feb., but I cannot confirm that. As of now, you can either shop at one of their 13 stores or on eBay (if you dare). I will update when you can shop online.