So I had a really interesting conversation with a great designer friend of mine today. He works for the Gap design team and is part of a team that is responsible for a remarkable amount of new merchandise each season. They research the market place, develop concepts and design looks that fit within the Gap lexicon and that also push the trend boundaries that help propel the company with the interests of the day.
What I found truly interesting was the fact that this designer friend didn’t work for the Gap retail stores, Banana Republic, Gap Kids or any of the other brands in their umbrella that you would assume have design teams. My designer friend works for Gap Outlet. Who knew right?! Apparently the Gap and many other companies with outlet branches began treating their outlet stores like a brand within itself, equipped with merchandising and design teams unto themselves charged with the task of creating a line of clothing that matches the quality of the parent brand while still fitting the price needs of the outlet shopper. Not only this, but because the outlet is not held to the same restrictions that the parent brand is when it comes to “style concepts” the outlet designers have much more free reign to create designs that push the limits of fashion and are much more trend forward. What amazing information right?!
So much for the outdated notion that outlet stores are full of outdated trends and unwanted sizes and styles. Turns out that the outlets of today are actually brands unto themselves with the freedom to be the more expressive and fun version of the companies we have all come to know and love. Can I get a yes please? I’ll be shopping outlet for my major retail brands from now on. Find your local outlet HERE.