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.”
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye