At least it's not Abercrombie. (AFP / Mandel Ngan / Getty) At least it’s not Abercrombie. (Mandel Ngan/Getty)

I guess middle school is finally over.

All the cool kids of 2002 felt a great disturbance, as though a million collared shirts and stonewashed jeans cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Abercrombie & Fitch are ditching the labels.

Like everyone whose closets include a fair share of clothes bearing the prominent Abercrombie & Fitch label, Abercrombie & Fitch is now a little embarrassed by this fact.

They announced this week that they will eliminate the logos from their clothes by spring 2015. Now, if your shirt or pants come from Abercrombie, this information will not be broadcast to the world at large. This will be between you and the wardrobe item — unless someone sees your bag, of course.

This is a brilliant strategy. What better way to sell Abercrombie & Fitch clothes in 2014 than to disguise the fact that these clothes come from Abercrombie & Fitch?

I’ve heard of rebranding. Hershey is rebranding by changing its label to look more like someone has deposited a small turd nearby — which is, I guess, a kind of progress.

But Abercrombie’s rebranding consists of just taking the brand off altogether. A rose by any other name, they figure, smells as sweet. Why shouldn’t an Abercrombie shirt? They could always go the direction their bags have long suggested and just stop selling shirts altogether. (“The Abercrombie look is no clothes at all!”)

These are always the moments you dread — the moment it turns out that one fashion is giving way to another and time has continued its slow and inevitable progress into eternity, and now when you look back on all your pictures you will know that They Don’t Make Things Like That Any More.

I guess my mother was ahead of the curve on this one. “Those labels are so tacky,” she said, as we strode through the mall before the start of seventh grade. “I don’t understand why anyone would want to wear one.” And slowly, first the public, then even Abercrombie itself has come around to her way of thinking.