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A&F’s back-to-school campaign to leverage mobile tech

NEW ALBANY — Abercrombie & Fitch Co. is taking its 2013 Stars on the Rise back-to-school campaign, featuring a group of up-and-coming actors, to the digital arena with a new mobile app that offers potential shoppers an interactive experience. 

This year's cast includes Jacob Artist (Glee), Emayatzy Corinealdi (Middle of Nowhere), Scott Eastwood (Texas Chainsaw 3-D), Johnny Ferro (Children of God), James Frecheville (Adore), Taylor Handley (Chasing Mavericks), Ashley Hinshaw (Chronicle), Alex Kaluzhsky (The Taking of Pelham 123), Alexander Ludwig (Vikings), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story) and Halston Sage (Grown Ups 2), as well as special canine stars Uggie (The Artist), Popeye (skateboarding American Bulldog), Julio (skateboarding English Bulldog) and Carrie ("The Dancing Dog"). 

"Identifying talent during the early stages of their careers has been something we have always been excited to be a part of," said chairman and CEO Mike Jeffries. "We enjoyed working with these 11 actors selected for this campaign and look forward to watching them flourish in their careers." 

Images of the stars, photographed by Bruce Weber, will be featured online, in the A&F App and throughout A&F stores around the world. To mark the campaign’s launch, A&F will hold an event at its Los Angeles Grove location Thursday, July 11. 

The actual back-to-school line debuts in stores and online Saturday, July 13, and will feature the jeans collection with a wider range of fits and washes. There is also a new online and in-store shopping tool designed to help consumers sort out the fit and wash that best suits them.

The smartphone app, available in the Apple App Store, features a "6 Degrees of Stars on the Rise," an interactive experience that lets users create a story connecting them with their favorite Star on the Rise by pulling in their Facebook data and creating a shareable story. The app also allows users to become a "Star on the Rise" by superimposing a picture of their face on the body of a Star on the Rise — an interesting move given the company’s recent negative press regarding body image issues as a result of comments Jeffries made several years ago. 

A&F will also launch its Everyone Instantly Wins sweepstakes Friday, July 26. Customers who visit participating A&F locations Friday to Sunday until Sept. 1, plus Labor Day, and enter the sweepstakes, will win jeans or a promotional gift card. 

"Stars on the Rise is a concept we frequently did in the early 2000s in our quarterly magazines. We are excited to bring back the concept with new technology that makes the campaign more fun, engaging and interactive," added Jeffries.

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