GAP: The Lost boys
Once a mainstay of the 90s and 00s wardrobe, the GAP we once knew and loved is facing it’s biggest identity crisis since it burst onto the scene as the architects of a Generation GAP. In a bizarre turn of fate, it is now the Baby Bloomers not the golden oldies that want to escape from all that GAP represents — the outdated and the identityless. The figures don’t support GAP’s continuing image crisis either as global sales earnings are down by 10% in GAP’s fifth straight quarterly decline.
In the words of Samuel Jackson customers are left thinking: “what the fuck happened to you man — Shit, your ass used to be beautiful!”.
Mr Jackson is not wrong when he says GAP’s ass used to beautiful. In fact, GAP’s classic denim cuts were worn by the best asses in the business, from Scarlett Johansson to John Mayer. As purveyors of classic design, GAP understood their market and most importantly understood how to win over the ever growingly capricious masses.
The question we really should be asking ourselves is where did Scarlett Johansson go and why aren’t we (you) staring at her best asset in a pair of GAP jeans?
There are many reasons GAP just aren’t cutting it in a market swollen with cheaper and more fashionable solutions to people’s fashion desires. It is no surprise that GAP’s demise has coincided with the rising popularity of UNIQLO, ASOS, H&M and TOPSHOP and if one thing is for certain it’s that GAP are definitely playing catchup in the fashion race.
If GAP can’t pull a Lance Armstrong and cheat their way forward then how can they once more lead as fashion front-runners?
Firstly, when it comes to their classic approach to fashion — i’m a big believer in knowing your craft and your product and sticking to your guns — as long as those guns are decent. I don’t think GAP would profit from pulling a Primark at one end and aim to offer THE cheapest alternatives to the high street trends. Classic will always be classic. Nor are they capable of breaking into the more expensive end of the high street, populated with the likes of Urban Outfitters who have successfully milked us all since they made the leap across the atlantic. GAP certainly need a revamp in many areas. I think the store model needs a rethink in areas, most of GAP’s customer base use it for it’s sale periods which are… most of the calendar year. I don’t think taking a leaf out of Sports Direct’s pocket would be the smart move for any of GAP’s problems — so maybe that needs a rethink.
But one thing is for sure is that GAP needs SEX. It needs to mean something again — it needs to feel cool again on the backs and bottoms of the current generation. It needs it’s Generation Gap back. And fast.