Originally Posted by TheDroog
I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing. On the other hand, has BR even tried to see what consumers want or looked at what their competitors are doing? Not that I can tell. It's the same thing season after season.
I wouldn't say Patrick Robinson did anything amazing. All he did was make Gap follow what everyone else was doing. And typical of big clunky companies that are no longer innovative, they show up late, try too hard, and overstay their welcome. The premium denim was nice and I'm a big fan. However I kind of got annoyed at the Canadian tuxedo look they were pushing in S/S. The whole DENIM IS BAAACK! Denim/chambray on top with denim on bottom with denim trucker jacket over. Ridiculous. Same goes for the plaids and the chambrays. The fact that they came out with a chambray shirt last yr was nice, but then they made 15 versions of it. They started slapping tab collars on everything the way BR slaps epaulettes on everything. Now they have these mutant plaid workshirts with tab collars. BR, which I used to think was ok, is just embarrassing now. It's like they're not even aware of trends. They completely missed the boat on the Americana and prep trend. We've seen things like blazers and ties creep into casual wear, and yet they barely had any offerings that seem to take advantage of that. And if entry-level business wear is one of their niches, why don't they have any basic oxford shirting? I see only a white and a douchey-looking grey. Even when I've seen an oxford in store, it usually has way too much sheen and looks/feels completely unoxford-like. Instead they appeared to be stuck in the late 90s, catering to young men that like dark shiny shirts and ties. Brands that cater to middle-aged men (BB, LE, LLBean, RL) have managed to be more "with it" than BR.