Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remember this Gap commercial?:

Or this one?:

They're both from Gap's heyday in the late-1990s/early 2000s. Now, here's the question--does ANYONE buy Gap clothing anymore?

When I was in college, I always made the obligatory stop at Gap in the mall whenever I went clothes shopping. Sometimes, it was a blockbuster experience--flattering fits, great colors, and practical styles would ensure that I walked out of the store with at least one bag stuffed to full capacity. Occasionally, it would be more of a bust. At one point, for example, the Gap designers were suddenly inspired by the 1960s hippie era, and stores were filled with racks and racks of long, patterned cotton skirts and linen tank tops. I must not have been the only person with reservations about looking like a throwback from 40 years ago because within two months, all evidence of this fashion moment in time had disappeared.

In recent years, my purchases at Gap were pared down to a certain fit of jeans and their Favorite-T line of shirts (which unfortunately only come in grey, white, and black). Only one or two styles of their clothing caught my attention. I passed most racks by without a glance.

Recently, I noticed this article. First off, I had no idea that any of these mall brands actually HAD their own designers to fire. Second, I realized that the last time I made any significant purchase was in 2007, presumably before either this guy got hired or before his impact could be felt on Gap stores nationwide.

Why wasn't this guy successful? I mean, he did come with quite a resume.

Here's my theory:

He designed clothes for the models in the photos on the walls happily skipping around in Gap's latest styles. He didn't design one pair of pants or one shirt that would look good on anyone who wasn't, at most, a size 2.

And, Gap's empty stores and lagging sales are direct evidence of just how few women in the world ARE 5' 10" and 115lbs. Not only does Gap now have such a small demographic to draw from, but, even if every single skinny tall chick spent $200 at Gap for its overpriced clothing, the profits still wouldn't hold a candle to Gap's more successful satellite, Old Navy.

There's a part of me that can't entirely blame him for making this mistake. I am sure that while working at Giorgio Armani, his delusional world of one-size-fits-all women was probably born.

I'll still buy the T-shirts, though. They don't seem to be subject to the same laws of the recent Gap universe.


It's Me! said...

Funny you should post this; just this morning I was doing some online shopping at I jumped on the brand bandwagon about two years ago, however there are a number of their signature products that certainly don't fit me or flatter my figure. I have had some success with other items and my wardrobe is fairly packed with clothes from the Gap. I wonder what will come next with a new designer?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I haven't been inside a Gap in years. But I fondly remember the Gap Game. If you can make it to the back of the Gap store and touch the wall before being accosted by a clerk, you win. I have yet to win.

Lana Gramlich said...

Personally I tend to get everything from 2nd hand stores. I can't stand malls, crowds, etc. Never mind store prices! Ugh!

booda baby said...

Yay! Happy to read your longer than 140 characters bits! :) (Although, your tweets are good, too.)

Someone's buying Gap and lots of it because our thrift stores are full of it and Banana Republic. It's the low end stuff around here. Ha. (Wow. Who knew you could fit in TWO yays in one comment? I'm about to ... Yay for rich people!! Although the Gap was never for the wealthy, was it? I have a shit memory for Gap related things.)

dive said...

I've never bought GAP. Wrong generation.

Constructive Attitude said...

I remember! GAP commercials were awesome!

Julia said...

Liked the commercials but was never a huge Gap clothes person. I'm with Lana - I hate shopping malls. yuck.