Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1867, David T. Abercrombie received his education in public schools and from private instructors. He later studied at Baltimore City College, becoming a practicing civil engineer and topographer. He worked as a railroad surveyor, prospector and miner before opening Abercrombie Co., a camping, fishing and hunting gear store in Manhattan in 1892.
Abercrombie joined forces with a loyal customer named Ezra Fitch in 1900, changing the company’s name to Abercrombie & Fitch Co. in 1904. After several years of successful business, Abercrombie left the company and joined Baker, Murray & Imbrie as Vice President.