Maybe there isn't life after distressed denim and cargo pants.
Finally got over to Mall of America to check out Ruehl No. 925 - Abercrombie & Fitch's attempt to outfit post-grads. Located on the second level of MOA outside Nordstrom, right next door to the other new A&F concept, Gilly Hicks, Ruehl clearly used the same design team, with a brick facade and a maze of dimly lit rooms. Nearly impossible to navigate with a stroller, which should matter, when you're trying to appeal to those of us beyond 21. I was expecting sophisticated new takes on basics for work and play. But the Ruehl wardrobe is designed for the dorm supervisor with a trust fund. Premium denim, lacy camis, cotton tops and sweats. Fewer logos than you'd find at the sister stores, but other than that, it's basically more of the same, plus handbags priced at $300 and higher. Just what we need.
One corridor over, Levi's has opened its first company store in town. Yes, more denim. But much less pretense.
Oh, and more jeans to come: True Religion will open a store at MOA in December. Other brands opening stores in the coming months include Nike, Columbia, Lush, Harley Davidson and Frederick's of Hollywood.