After the departure of its creative director, Patrick Robinson, in May, Gap entered an interstitial period. The brand has been on the hunt for someone to take over the creative reins; at today's presentation, Gap's head of
communications, Anita Borzyszkowska, said that the search is nearing completion. In the meantime, the brand-repositioning process has started, with the goal of recapturing Gap's historic niche as the go-to for all-American staples.
Consequently, as Borzyszkowska was keen to point out, the Spring 2012 Gap collection is something of a placeholder. But the renewed focus on cheerful wardrobe fundamentals such as jeans and tees was definitely evident here. These clothes aren't likely to fire up consumers' imaginations, but the pop-colored denim and khakis and slouchy striped knits for men and women are a pretty sure bet to be worn and loved, if people venture into Gap stores to buy them. There wasn't much experimentation going on here—which is probably a good thing, given that the one risky look, a pair of "khaki-washed" yellow jeans for men, looked acidic and out of place. Better, albeit less daring, were the contributions from Gap's Los Angeles design team, who added a range of vintage-inspired looks for women, including a chic and easy dirndl skirt, topstitch-detailed colored oxford shirts, and dark-washed boyfriend jeans. These looks came the closest to cloning the original Gap DNA, though easygoing washed-out colored chinos for the boys and short trenchcoats for the girls fit the bill nicely, too. But the verdict remains "wait and see."