Patrick Robinson unveiled Gap’s global spring collection on Wednesday night in London, and it’s packed with fluid, sophisticated looks and a part-pale, part-earthy color palette clearly inspired by the designer’s days working for Giorgio Armani in Milan. He offered up basics with flair, including sleeveless denim tops with wide ruffles around the armhole, floaty blouses with ribbons, pleating and other flirty details, boxy knitted shift dresses with chiffon details, and short slouchy jackets paired with his new, wide-legged, high-waisted trousers.
“Sexiness and sophistication — Europeans get it and they demand it,” said Robinson, Gap Inc.’s executive vice president for global design, during a walk-through before the show. “My biggest hurdle has been to change the mind-set of the Gap customer in the U.S. who grew up with the brand and automatically thinks of basics. What I want to offer are interesting essentials — fashion, excitement, newness. But the challenge is: how quickly do you walk the traditional customer toward this, how do you push their minds in that direction?”
The 45 looks were on display in a static show in a brightly-lit basement space in central London. In addition to the tailored jackets and frilly shirts, the collection was heavy on cotton knits, including hooded sweatshirts and sleeveless T-shirts, and draped sweaters with twisted collar details.
Robinson said more than the designs are changing: “With blouses, for example, maybe we’ll have a choice of 30 — but only in one or two colors, so everyone can feel like they are making an individual choice.”
The designer said his mission was to dress his customers for the modern American lifestyle, and to offer clothing that can go from day to night, from office to an evening out. “Heritage doesn’t turn me on — it’s about America today. Let’s face it, a 28-year-old wants more fashion in his or her wardrobe,” he said.
Gap Inc. is making a big push into markets outside the U.S. and Canada. In November, it will open 16,500-square-foot flagship in central Milan, and plans to open a 12,500-square-foot flagship in Rome in the first half of next year. Over the next four years, it plans to expand its store portfolio to 600 units — a mix of wholly owned and franchises worldwide.
According to Stephen Sunnucks, Gap’s European president, the aim is to boost the brand’s sales outside the U.S. and online to 27 percent of the business by 2013 from the current 12 percent. “The goal is to build global flagships on key streets in key cities in order to build the brand,” he said. “Then we’ll branch out to malls and to high streets in smaller cities.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)