A subsidiary of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Hollister is a lifestyle brand that was founded in the year 2000. Though its image and theme is intended to be an homage to the surfer culture of California, its headquarters have always been in Ohio. Abercrombie & Fitch actually created a fictional backstory for Hollister when they launched the company, claiming that John Hollister, Sr. moved from New York to the Dutch East Indies in the early 20th century. According to the story, Hollister established his brand while abroad before returning to the United States in 1922 and setting up shop in California.
Fictional history aside, Abercrombie & Fitch originally established the Hollister label to appeal to the 14- to 18-year-old demographic. Clothes were priced lower than styles at the parent store, and most outfits were given a surfing theme. Much to the surprise of Abercrombie executives, Hollister's profits soon surpassed the original A&F brand. The new company expanded at rapid rate, and it currently has more than 500 stores in the U.S. and almost 100 more locations internationally. In addition to its clothing lines, the brand has also become well known for its fragrances and body care products.
Though Hollister's key demographic is teens, the company's clothing is designed to fit anyone who can wear adult sizes. Key styles for boys include tops like graphic tees and tanks as well as henleys, oxford shirts, v-necks, hoodies, sweaters and cardigans. Girls' tops maintain a beach theme and feature options like crop tops, camis, bra tops, kimonos, tanks, plaid shirts, and more. The brand's jeans are available in all the hottest styles and washes, including skinny jeans, pre-ripped jeans, and boot cuts. Hollister also makes bottoms like chinos, cargo shorts, fleece shorts, and sweatpants for boys, and overalls, jumpsuits, and palazzo pants for girls. You can find casual dresses and rompers in women's sizes, which are perfect for a day at the beach.
Other categories for boys include jackets (ranging from light denim jackets to heavy parkas) as well as swimming trunks, sunglasses, hats, flip-flops, socks, and more. Girls can choose from a wide selection of bikinis as well as intimates like bras and panties. When it comes to outerwear, girls' styles include faux-leather jackets, parkas, and puffer jackets. Hollister's fragrances are available in perfumes, body mists, colognes, and body sprays, and girls can also choose products like body wash, body cream, and nail color.
When compared to Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister is actually a relatively tame brand with several styles that are functional as well as fashionable. The company is even trying to rebrand its image by slowly getting rid of the dark beach shack entrances to its stores and replacing them with more traditional display windows. It will take your judgment as a parent (especially if you have girls) to decide when your child is ready for the occasionally skimpy tops available from Hollister, but options like jeans and jackets tend to be more modest and offer good quality at a relatively low price. Hollister has recently started coming into its own as it continues to expand both domestically and internationally, but it is establishing itself as one of the top lifestyle brands in the nation. We give the company 4 stars out of 5.