Sunday, April 08, 2007

Gap - What Is Going On?

I have had a love hate relationship with the gap but like an argument with one of my sisters I will be mad but I will still support them.

I don’t understand the new designer inspired shirts and the $100+ purses!

From: New York Times

What about these shirts say young, fashionable and relaxed chic! Oversized shirts with bows, designed by Doo-Ri Chung, Thakoon Panichgul and Kate and Laura Mulleavy are too outdated ... even my mom gave up the oversized bows in the 80's.

I love my Gap boot cut jeans. I live in them. More than likely if you see me I am in jeans – which can be good or bad for a designer/professional shopper/style consultant..... ummmm yes. I do stray sometimes and purchase other brands. I won’t lie. I love having colorful embroidered thread on my behind. But I will always go back to Gap. I didn’t even mind that they are zippered fronts and not button down – which are always sexier.

In the past, I have ventured beyond jeans and purchased other gap offerings. I’ve tried the fragrances, the tops, dresses, khakis, socks even Gap shoes.

To date, beyond the boot cut jeans, I only like the dresses, khakis and find the thong sandals durable and versatile.


I used to have a pair of Gap leather tongs for years and I can say those sandals were my favs for about 5 years. I am still recovering from their demise.

Gap seems to be all over the place these days. The Gap shoe site - Piperlime shoes is a refreshing take the online shoe mall concept similar to but without all the clutter. Prices range from $50 to $600. For some reason you don’t hear a lot about this site not surprisingly since its more higher-end that the typical Gap offerings and can be confusing for buyers who expect to spend in the range of $100 or less.

It is just confusing to me why a brand such as Banana Republic - same parent company as Gap - was able to make the transition from Eddie Baueresque – t-shirt staple store to professional, business casual and trendy and still stay relevant. No one currently expects to find t-shirts and jeans in Banana. Why is it so hard for Gap to either make the transition or better yet choose to accept its identity as what it is and work on making the best of its core offerings.

A friend once told me that jeans and khakis get old so companies like Gap have to look elsewhere. I beg to differ. If that was the case Naomi would not be fighting over her Chip and Pepper jeans. Rock and Republic, Apple bottoms and even House of Dereon would not find success in their denim lines. And there would not be a Jeans Boutique (B Scene) in the Washington, DC metro area.

Why can’t the gap realize that their expertise lie in the quality of their jeans and capitalize on this good will. Its so obvious to me. Upgrade what you are good at instead of spreading yourself thin trying to enter other markets. Instead of having celebrities advertise online have them add personal touches to the denim design. Look at H&M.

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