Fair enough. A JE to Aeropostale comparison may not be fair. And JE has a hand in the design of GAP. But at the end of the day, perception becomes reality and whether it is truly better or not falls to the wayside when JE is in the GAP store right next to the Aeropostale store, and the difference is indistinguishable to the majority of shoppers in either one of those places.
It's fair to believe that this JE collab will be of better quality than plain ol' GAP items, right? Having the JE name on it will certainly make it easier to differentiate the two and bring more attention to the designer. This collab is more for those average consumers than it is for people who are already buying JE products. Sure, it may not be bringing in hundreds of new long-term customers, but if it sparks interest and gets them to check out more from the JE brand, that's a win.
We all got introduced to higher-end brands somehow, right?