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Patrick Robinson Falls Out of The Gap

All American brand Gap has had a difficult time staying relevant for a while now. I worked at The Gap in high school as my first experience with fashion retail, and I remember never really being impressed by their clothes. Until recently I paid them no mind when I would go shopping as their clothes were never flattering, and the colors were always so washed out. Luckily in 2007 they hired Patrick Robinson to come in and revamp the line, following his stints at Paco Rabanne, Giorgio Armani, Perry Ellis, and Anne Klein. He was greatly received and was expected to be the brands Messiah. This CFDA award nominee is also half of an industry power couple as his wife Virginia Smith is fashion market and accessories director at Vogue. It seemed to be the perfect match! I have more recently been very pleased by The Gaps offerings, as they have moved into a more modern and relevant look, all while sticking to their own look. It’s been the first time since I was a child that I remember going into a Gap store and being excited about their offering. It is now a store that I go to if I need a nice pair of khaki’s or a really well made t-shirt that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg.

Unfortunately, The Gap just officially let go of Patrick Robinson because the turnaround hasn’t been big enough to please them. Industry analysts have criticized his poor timing and often premature introductions of trends. Prior to Robinson’s arrival, Gap endured decreased annual sales since 2005. In the past year, the brand reported a 1 percent decline while its sister companies, Old Navy and Banana Republic, had simultaneously experienced positive same-store sales. I think Robinson has done a great job and I’m pretty sure he won’t have a hard time finding another gig, but now I am interested in seeing what The Gap’s next move will be since I am not sure that they could have done a much better job at keeping the brands American Khaki kind of look and making it relevant. We will see…

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