WHAT’S OLD IS NEW: Tanks, T-shirts and jeans are Old Navy staples, but as of Friday the 1,100-unit chain will have a tweed cardigan jacket in its mix solely for a six-week run. Global senior vice president of design Michael Ingram Jones said he was inspired by the stylish women and trend leaders he spots on design trips to New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo and Milan. His 150-person San Francisco-based design team is rooted in “the value business,” but they are known to create aspirational items. As for whether the jacket was meant to be Chanel-inspired, the British-born Jones said, “I don’t think there was any intention for it to look like anything. We have seen a lot of great-looking women wearing tweed cardigan jackets.”
The jacket’s $40 price tag is in line with the retailer’s outerwear and does not signal a move to a higher price tier, he said. Japan, however, is one area where Old Navy is going full force, with plans to open up to 20 stores there this year. “We’re excited to take the idea of this American family brand to Japan,” Jones said.
This story first appeared in the March 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.