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The Flannels of Boyfriends Past

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The Skeletons in My Closet Are Actually Just Flannels

We asked our readers to tell us about what lives in their closets. Wanna tell us about yours? Email!

Photo: Under Armour

Tell us about yourself.
Giana, 24, an editorial assistant and adjunct professor living in Montclair, New Jersey.

What’s the oldest thing in your closet? The newest thing?
Technically speaking, the oldest piece of clothing in my closet is a funky, purple-striped, oversized Michael Gerald cardigan that belonged to my grandfather (?) or one of my uncles — an attic find. Newest is a yellow and purple-flowered tunic with a tie around the waist that I just ordered from ModCloth.

What lives in the “dark corner” of your closet? In other words, what do you continue to keep in there even though it never sees the light of day?
Flannels that I collected from my ex-boyfriends? Just kidding! (Sort of.) 

How do you have your closet organized? And what about shoes? Where the heck do they go?
That's a really good question that I should be asking myself! There really is not much, errr... method to the madness. I hang up dresses and shirts that would wrinkle; I’m trying to keep those somewhat in order. Workout, sleepwear, and old stockings with holes in them usually fall in some of the drawers or little baskets I keep in my closet. I have a bucket of shoes stuffed in my closet where I keep the less-worn-but-can't-throw-out items. The shoes I wear day-to-day end up being thrown about my room or under my bed.

Wax poetic to me about hangers.
The state of the hangers in my closet is probably the most embarrassing part of that dark hole. I use whatever I have — literally! Plastic, metal, the ones I get from department stores. Some of them are even broken in half and I still use them! Hangers just don't wind up being a top priority on my list, but I'm starting to think they should be.

What’s the weirdest thing in your closet that’s just there because it has nowhere else to live?
My closet is actually pretty tiny, so I can't afford too much room for random gatherings. I am a hoarder, though. I have this canvas bag of old Halloween costume items. Minnie Mouse ears have made their way in there, despite the fact that I have not been to Disney World since 2010. I also have a King's Robe that is kid-sized...


Your Local Mall Was Born in Columbus, Ohio
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The Abercrombie & Fitch headquarters is composed of roughly 16 buildings set among 500 forested acres, which, during a late October visit, explode in fall colors. Security guards at the gate sport crisp blue button-downs from the brand. Banks of scooters let the 2,600 employees zip between meetings held in a series of massive, corrugated metal structures that look a bit like high-fashion barns. The grounds are filled with meandering paths, tree-lined walkways, and even firepits. The entire campus exudes wholesomeness, like a corporate wellness retreat that lasts all year.

“It’s a really lovely place to work,” says Clare Drummond, Abercrombie’s senior global PR manager, as she leads me past the company cafeteria, currently offering quinoa bowls and fresh juice. “We have a big roaring fire every morning, which is very lovely to come into at 7 a.m. There’s a really nice, communal feeling to the buildings.”

The facility has been a hive of activity the last few months, as the company revamped its catalog for the holidays, part of a larger brand refresh. Nearly every aspect of the business happens here, from designing the lines to storing inventory in gigantic warehouses. In one basement, photographers are shooting product images for the website. In another section, designers play with denim, using a bank of washing machines filled with rocks and pebbles in a quest to achieve the perfect fade. In another building, a full-sized mock store is being adjusted, altered, and tested to determine the right way to merchandise the latest collection.

The models in the new catalog were actually photographed in Maine, but pretty much every other aspect of the company is dictated and controlled from this idyllic-looking campus in New Albany, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Why, of all the cities across the country, would a multinational fashion brand set down roots in the Rust Belt, in a town best known for Buckeyes football? A second-tier city in the Midwest can seem like a surprising choice until you examine just how deep Columbus’s retail influence runs.

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