Gap and GQ’s Best New Designers collection is pure, unadulterated blogger bait, yet I find myself reluctant to pull the trigger on any of the items. The reason? Cheap fabric.
These collaborations are obviously fast fashion, and we should expect a drop-off in quality in exchange for lower prices. The Ovadia and Sons “wool” cargos are only 40% wool, and the McNairys 50%. It is inconceivable that a company with the buying power across its three brands can’t source 100% wool fabrics at a reasonable price point. Lands End and LL Bean seem to find a way to offer 100% wool trousers for less than $100 every year. Why can’t Gap?
The answer is they can, but don’t feel it’s in their best interest to do so. Sure, their business model is built around Jeans and Khakis, but they also see fit to offer dress pants like these every season. Cheap materials do not exactly engender consumer confidence or build brand loyalty.
Gap is a brand that has lost its way. In its attempt to be all things to all people, it’s found itself in a position where it doesn’t mean anything to anyone. This collection was Gap’s chance to stake its claim as a brand that can compete with the likes of J Crew as opposed to cannibalizing its own brands, Old Navy and Banana republic. This was the opportunity to make a statement, unfortunately that statement happened to be “we cut corners”.