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.