Is the Gap Back? Also, ‘A Proposition for Prep’

Hello-Hello, happy top of a new week to everyone.

Today we begin with a look at a topic we have been pondering lately, how things are going for the Gap. Some may recall earlier posts in this space about challenges facing the retailer, this weekend’s Times carried an interesting story about the company, “A Humbled Gap Tries a Fresh Coat of Pep“.  The lead sentence makes perfect sense to someone like myself who has been following Gap’s misfortunes, and wondering about the company’s marketing plan.

“THIS can’t be a Gap: the mannequins look kind of happy.”

That covers a broad swath of things related to Gap’s ongoing dilemma, more on the company’s situation can be found in Stephanie Clifford’s story:

After defining 1990s khaki culture, Gap fell hard in the early 2000s. Management missteps, executive turnover and, not least, unappealing fashion punished sales. It was a remarkable comedown for a chain that once seemed to dictate how America dressed.

What went wrong? Dozens of interviews with current and former executives depict a company that chased after rivals, rather than charting its own course, and that cut quality and lost touch with customers. Simply put, it filled its stores with stuff that people didn’t want.

I don’t know about your Palace, but that second paragraph resonates here at The Prepatorium, especially the quality issue. Parenthetically, it is also a description one could apply almost verbatim to Talbots current status.

It looks like some basics are back on track, like Gap’s Oxford Shirts.

Gap

While not a close observer or customer of the Baby Gap line, it seemed from what we noticed in online and print ads that this part of the company retained its focus and core products fairly well….yes?  For those in touch with the children’s clothing, was quality an issue here as well, or not so much?

Baby Gap

The DVF for Baby Gap and Gap Kids line is insanely cute. (More on this collaboration may be found here.)

DVF for Baby Gap

Below, two marketing images from this spring demonstrates the retailer’s commitment to vivid colors.

Gap

More from the NY Times story:

But recent moves seem to be spurring sales. The clothes are bright and fabrics better. (Mr. Peck mandates a minimum weight for T-shirts and knits.) And Gap has added production flexibility so it can chase trends it initially missed — for instance, it just rushed in floral-printed jeans for women.

Again, the emphasis on plenty of brights.

Gap

The back to basics mantra is also influencing the men’s clothing and accessories.

Gap

Other initiatives don’t seem as popular, like the brand’s flip-flops, at least if judging by comments left on the Gap Facebook page, there is some push back on these when it comes to the price, $24.95.

The story closes with a paragraph about Gap’s collection for this winter.

Mannequins wore winter gear, like an updated cable-knit sweater with a slouchy fit. The rest of the collection was red, navy and camel — peppy and preppy.

It looked like something that had been missing for a long time: it looked like the Gap.

It would be wonderful to see Gap back again.

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Also today, a quick look at a piece done over at The Bag Snob titled “The Top 5 Preppy Bags: A Proposition for Prep“:

The Bag Snob

In the story Bag Snob Tina writes:

The word “preppy” tends to have a very specific connotation. Somehow, eighties imagery of Lacoste alligators, Nantucket Reds, and Sperry topsiders (not that they’ve even left preppy dudes’ closets) still hover.

But I’m noticing a freshly cut crop of clean-cut bags that put the “hip” in “prepster,” if you will. Whether you carry yours with a hint of irony or without blinking an eye, it’s time to embrace a little bit of modern prep.

The Anya Hindmarch ‘Nevis’ color block tote is very attractive, that color combo is perfect for the summer!

Until next time may your skies be bright and beautiful!

4 Comments

Filed under Collaborations, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion

4 responses to “Is the Gap Back? Also, ‘A Proposition for Prep’

  1. Back in my youth, the Gap was then, what JCrew is now!. The clothing was of quality fabrics and lasted years. We lived in the classic style of the Gap without ever giving a competitor a second thought. It has tried to make a comeback, and, yet, disappointed those of us who would have loved to see it survive. I would love to see a strong comeback. We’ll see………….

  2. The Gap has a nice line of colored khakis I’ve been eying! We shall see!

  3. Gap used to be awesome. I have some madras ties and ribbon belts from years ago. I haven’t purchased anything from Gap in at least a decade besides underwear (for some reason their underwear fits me perfectly), which I buy in several packages before heading back to Japan (Japanese underwear is… very strange, the fit is totally wrong, and I haven’t met an expatriate yet who has felt differently).

    P.S. Got tired of arguing with wordpress, just using a new address, too bad I lose my nifty nautical picture.

  4. Love the J. Crew clutch!

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