MILAN — Gap Inc. revealed plans to open the first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Italy this year.
The stores will be located in central Milan, next to one another in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the busiest shopping streets in the city. Next year, the company is expected to roll out stores in Rome and other Italian venues.
Stephen Sunnucks, Gap Inc. president, Europe and international franchise, said he was enthusiastic about entering Italy, “a new market, which is also one of the five main ones for fashion in the world.”
The company is expanding its presence globally and, in light of its strong customer base in London and Paris, Sunnucks said he expected the Gap brands to have similar resonance with Italian consumers. The San Francisco-based retailer first said it planned to expand into Italy and China in February. Aside from operating stores for all divisions in the U.S. and Canada, Gap brand has stores in Japan, the U.K., France and Ireland, while Banana Republic has units in Japan and the U.K.
The two stores in Milan will be owned by Gap and will leverage the existing European human resources and distribution infrastructure, said the company.
Milan’s Gap store will cover three floors and more than 84,000 square feet, and carry the Gap, GapKids, babyGap, GapBody and GapMaternity collections. The new Banana Republic location will cover57,607 square feet and carry the brand’s ready-to-wear collections for men and women, accessories and personal care products.
Gap stores total 3,100, and more than 170 of these are based in Europe.
On Monday, the group also unveiled plans to launch an e-commerce site for Gap and Banana Republic in England that will serve nine other European countries, including Italy.
In the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, the retailer reported net profits of $352 million, up 45 percent compared with the year-ago period. Sales rose to $4.24 billion from $4.08 billion in the same period the previous year.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast