What does the neighborhood of Cobble Hill have in common with a polluted creek in Minnesota, a long-shuttered Boy Scout camp in upstate New York and an icy Alaskan lake?
Apparently, some kind of poetic connection to overpriced fleece jackets. This season, the wizards of the sexually suggestive preppy look at Abercrombie & Fitch have rolled out a new line of men’s fleeces named after bucolic-sounding spots on the American map, places like Bassett Creek, Camp Vigor, Lake Indigo — and Cobble Hill.
The “Cobble Hill” — a zip-up with a “soft-sueded” cotton-Polyester blend and embroidered with a chest-spanning banner ad for its corporate maker— can be had for $79.50 at your nearest A & F location. (Ironically, that’s in Manhattan.) Our neighborhood pelt differs from its peer fleeces on a few key style points. Namely, its not striped and doesn’t have a hood.
Instead, our fleece is marked with such retro touches as a “distressed” print of the word “New York” over the number “27,” as if the fleece’s wearer was a lost outfielder — except the company didn’t even have the bullocks to write “Brooklyn” instead of “New York.” The shirt also boasts a high-necked collar reminiscent of both a priest and a mid-1980s basketball coach. Still, adults could wear this fleece with less shame than they may feel in the “Camp Vigor,” a $79 sweatshirt that looks like it was made with Gwen Stefani’s toddler in mind.
“It’s made for a young guy who just started working in an office, but wishes he was still the captain of the soccer team,” hypothesized Cobble Hill resident Elizabeth Cook.
Others had more specific gripes with the teenybopper purveyor’s appropriation of the neighborhood moniker.
“Enormously lettered brand names are not what I would call in the spirit of Cobble Hill,” said Roy Sloane, vice president of the Cobble Hill Association.
Sloane said he appreciated the “understated” cut of the jacket in light of recent neighborhood scuffles over new development. “The collar is high, but its not too, too tall,” said, Sloane, a veteran in the advertising field. As such, he wasn’t surprised to see Abercrombie playing on the appeal of the historic hood.
“Cobble Hill is a classy, elegant place. Of course, they want to tap into that,” he said. Fair enough. But Cook pointed out that our namesake fleece is a little square. The cool kids wear stripes while the “Cobble Hill” gets a high neckline and narrow pockets that are described in women’s magazines as “slimming.” We all know that Cobble Hill is a good place to raise kids and walk dogs while wearing Crocs, but come on, did we need to be reminded by the company that once produced shirts with the slogan “Wong Brothers Laundry — Two Wongs Can Make it White”? This Cobble Hill fan didn’t like that shirt and she doesn’t like the new product. So here’s an unsolicited suggestion for the company: a T-shirt that reads only, “We are not teenagers anymore.”
Ariella Cohen is a freelance writer.
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