the gap resurrects american retail

by Jeremy Danté

reinventing themselves on the retail front, patrick robinson presented this spring collection for american based retailer, the gap. for those unaware, the gap was founded in 1969 in san francisco, california. as a leading retailer since that time, the gap has changed the game with their own denim collection & their commitment to clean & casual california style. in 2009, gap inc. reached revenue of $14.2 billion & their online profits climbed due to their digital expansion in 55 different countries, which resulted in a 15% increase. while mixed emotion has been publicized by the media, the SF based retailer has struggled to rebrand itself; even going so far as changing their iconic logo & then turning around to revert back to the original due to a bad reaction from the public. that said, a resurgence of hope for the brand & a completely accurate vision of fashion’s modern era is upon us. brand creative director, patrick robinson, recently presented the brand’s spring 2011 men & womenswear collection with a refreshing sense of design. streamlined, clean, classic & minimal are words i’ve used of more progressive designer labels like céline, stella mccartney & even of iconic american fashion house, calvin klein. through fashion’s redirection of over the top glamour, a new minimalism is seeping through & slowly dominating the world of fashion. be that as it may, the gap fits right into that evolutionary mold perfectly, as clearly seen in the brands latest collection. in speaking of the collection, verbalizing the brands renewed direction, robinson expresses his disdain for heritage & comes across almost resenting the old casual friday reputation the gap has become known for. robinson says, “heritage doesn’t turn me on; it’s about america today” – which is an accurate verbalization of the collection itself. i am completely impressed by the refined design quality of both the menswear & womenswear from the set. while a sense of revitalization is felt, the brands defining qualities are mindfully in tact- a stunning set of american style. the design redirection of the gap is poised for greatness, not only here in america, but in europe as well. the gap has reportedly teamed with valentino to present a collection of “iconic gap basics,” in honor of the labels expansion into milan with a flagship at milan’s corso vittorio emanuele. while the collection is exclusive to milan, london & collete in paris, the collection will also become available at the gap’s rome location, which is currently under construction.

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