In 1999, Aaron Levine decided to take time off from his studies at Virginia Tech and, at his parents’ request, began applying for jobs. “My parents were kinda like, ‘You know what? Take some time off on your own dime,’” recalls Levine. He drove to a local Abercrombie & Fitch store in Richmond, Va. and dropped off his resume.

He was hired as an assistant manager. But, Levine admits, he wasn’t the archetypal A&F guy. He didn’t resemble a Greek god, like the rest of the “models” (A&F’s term for its salespeople at the time). “I had long hair, I was scruffier,” he says. “I still don’t know how I got the job.” Levine, who was in his early 20s, didn’t know it then, but he’d find himself back at A&F a decade and a half later.

In May 2015, Levine, who was then vice president of men’s design at Club Monaco, received a call about the opportunity to head A&F’s men’s design. A surprised Levine went home and consulted his wife. “I was like, ‘I got this really interesting phone call.’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, sure, that’ll never happen.’” A month later, Levine was hired, the latest step in the rebranding of Abercrombie & Fitch that began near the end of Michael Jeffries’ tenure as CEO, following several lawsuits and controversies and plummeting sales. In 2014, the company toned down its stores’ nightclub vibe; it lowered the deafening music, turned up the lights, and sprayed exactly 25 percent less of its “Fierce” cologne. It also minimized the signature logos on clothing.

“This company is very sound,” Jeffries told Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014. “Its customer is changing, and we’re ready to change with her and him.” Earlier this month, A&F released its Spring/Summer 2016 collection—Levine’s first for the brand. The collection—and A&F—received glowing reviews. GQ wrote in its review of the new collection that they were “glad to see the brand finally moving in the right direction.” Maxim published a piece with the headline: “THIS IS NOT THE ABERCROMBIE & FITCH YOU REMEMBER.” 

But can Abercrombie & Fitch be cool again?