What being a Hollister ‘model’ teaches you

Yes, we know it’s dark in here

Back in 2010, every tween’s social status was elevated if they were seen carrying the classic Hollister carrier bag, complete with semi-naked man. From the forceful fragrance which hits you as you enter, to the infamous lifeguards who used to line up outside for photos, the Hollister experience is a rite of passage for every young person.

But what is it like to work there? Put on a pedestal and guardian of that holy dark place where the future BNOCs were created. Here are the things which you’ll only understand if you worked as a Hollister ‘model’.

You could smile through the same joke 35 times a shift

‘It’s a bit dark in here love isn’t it?’ ‘Did you not turn the lights on this morning?’ We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again in the next ten minutes.

All of the lights

The store has got progressively lighter over the years and the music keeps you going through a long shift. It’s not ‘like a nightclub’, it’s a dimmed clothes shop with music. Calm down Barbara.

You became immune to the Hollister scent

Your mum would comment on how nice you smelled as soon as you came in after a shift as you literally began to sweat the So Cal fragrance.

But after spending such long periods of time in the shop, you slowly became immune to the classic smell, despite how nice it actually is.

We can’t smell it

Betty’s 1 killed your dreams

If, at the start of your four hour shift, you were put in ‘Betty’s 1’, you knew you were never getting out. The front girls room was the most important area of the shop and by far the busiest. It was a constant battle between having to greet every customer as they walked through the door whilst still making sure the presentation of the room was of the highest standard.

The blank stares when you asked, ‘Hey guys! What’s up? Welcome to the pier,’ were embarrassing to take but made you the tough, fearless person you are today. You can literally talk to anybody now.

How to work flip flops in the winter

Running to the food court on your lunch break gave you no choice but to own the flip flops as best you could. Groups of girls would stare and snigger but you embraced the December cold and lack of Californian sun.

Never get your nails done

The strict ‘look’ policy meant there was never any point in painting your nails. Starting your shift with even the most natural shade on your fingers would result a telling off and having to run to Boots for remover.

But it taught you to embrace a more natural side, with minimal make up and beach style hair. The early morning starts weren’t so bad when you could spend fifteen minutes more in bed rather than on winged eyeliner.

We even had to clean the flag

Palm trees can be cleaned with Mr Muscle

Sundays were designated for cleaning the palm trees but it took a while for you to realise that the trees were actually fake, assuming that someone else always watered them.

Each individual leaf was scrubbed clean with Mr Muscle and shoppers would stare bewilderedly as if the fumes of aftershave had gone straight to your head.


Nothing quite taught you how to tolerate frustrating times than watching your intricately folded table be torn apart in a matter of seconds. Maintaining a room on a Saturday afternoon was as difficult as it got, people were queuing around the store to pay whilst you weaved in and out to try and make a table of t-shirts look somewhat presentable.

How beautiful

To master the jean wall was another highly regarded skill and one which gave such great pleasure when accomplished. However, it appeared that the people of Britain loved nothing more than to rip perfectly positioned jeans from their size ordered pile just as you were finished. Soul destroying.

It’s the most fun you’ll ever have in a workplace

Yes it’s retail work but there’s something particularly fun about working for the Abercrombie and Fitch empire. Whether it’s the loud music, admittedly dark surroundings or the fun managers, no job will ever quite compare.