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GAP are back. Seriously do NOT walk past the shop again while this collection is in store. Sure I talked about the “&” Sweatshirt from The Saturdays before, but it wasn’t until I actually attended the breakfast meeting with GAP in their flagship store on Oxford Street that I really got it.
Firstly it’s one of the first time many of these designers McNairy, Saturdays, Todd Snyder and BLK DNM are available this side of the pond. Secondly these are American designers working for a great American brand, there is no ideological clash here that can at times work against high st/ designer collabs. During the breakfast I was lucky enough to bump into the always lovely Nick Carvell (congrats again on becoming British GQ’s online Fashion Editor), as we walked around the collection one thing soon became clear. There were a disproportionate number of items we would quite happily have distracted the PRs and fled the scene with.
Thing is, like most menswear writers our tastes though similar are actually quite different, and I dont think Nick would disagree. Despite this our wishlists heavily overlapped. In fact the wishlists of everyone attending definitely overlapped. Each of us imagining exactly how we would pull looks together. Appealing to many is a challenge, appealing to many who have seen more than most is pretty much impossible. Here in lies this collections success, the writers in attendance were like fashion venn diagrams, with significant common areas, and enough items in isolation to allow personal taste to grow and develop with in it.
So the & sweatshirt is now mine, as is the camo T, and the Liberté print T also mine. I used to work for GAP back in my days of being a law student. As a result I can hand on heart vouch for the quality of the product. Simply put GAP know how to make product that lasts and lasts. Design wise, I’ve always held GAPs basics as a win, and whilst in recent years I’ve been more loyal to the temple of Uniqlo (thanks largely to more directional basics, and lower prices if I’m totally honest) I can still outfit someone in minutes in GAP.
I’ve yet to wear any of the pieces without compliments, the Saturdays & sweatshirt is still one of my personal faves, but Todd Snyder’s camo T has finally dragged me on to a major menswear trend before it vanishes.
But this collab could herald the sign of a big ship turning, and big ships turn very slowly indeed. But when they turn they make sure they are going the right way. This is definitely a sign of things going the right way. Bringing exclusive American designers to the UK, bringing good quality design to menswear as they have womenswear, let’s hope this is not just a flash in the pan but the start of something new. Good quality, affordable design on the UK high street in way we’ve not seen before.
Topman have been bringing the undiscovered and up and coming to America for a while now, thanks to GAP we’re getting a taste of the newest New York