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2009 August 12

Fall Back Into The Gap

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(NEW YORK) Chances are, you’ve worn and loved a pair of Gap jeans in your life--but chances are, also, that you haven’t put them on in a while. “Gap is such an iconic American brand,” said Patrick Robinson, Gap’s executive vice president of design, this morning at the brand’s Fifth Avenue and 54th Street outpost, “but you need to talk to the customer. We lost our edge for a while when we started making things up instead of talking directly to you.” Robinson, though, is poised to turn that around, starting with Gap’s bread and butter: denim. Robinson and his team have just launched the Gap 1969 Premium Jeans collection, which come in several different styles, from the Always Skinny to the Boyfriend to the Sexy Boot cut.

“We started from scratch,” Robinson said of the design process, one that took over a year in hundreds of factories worldwide. “We literally got rid of every jean in every store, and now have replaced them with these.” So what’s the difference, then? “The fit!,” he said. “There’s no better fitting jean out there. You can pay $500 for a pair of jeans, but when you put these on, people will stop you on the street and ask where you got them." Robinson has been on a nationwide tour; after launching a Premium Denim pop-up shop in L.A. last week, he stopped in Texas to put his new denim on the people of Dallas. And there’s no better salesman than the man himself. “Did you try them on?” he asked press-cum-shoppers at the store. “Don’t they fit like a rockstar?” Truly, the group was converted; the jeans are light and comfortable, and the cuts could easily belong in a designer denim lineup--though they retail for $69.50. “This is what we should be doing,” said Robinson. “This is why we’re Gap.”
EMILY GYBEN




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