Introducing Gap Inc.’s Cross-Brand Denim Innovation
by Carlee Gomes, Gap Inc. blogger
What does every shopper want? The perfect pair of jeans. We’re talking about denim that looks flattering, feels comfortable, and stays that way all day. And our brands are working together to bring customers exactly that.
We’ve been obsessed with denim since day one here at Gap Inc., when our first Gap store opened in 1969. And the truth is, we’re as obsessed with giving our customers the perfect pair of jeans as we were 50 years ago.
Which brings us to our latest development in denim that comes in direct response to what our customers across all brands have been asking for: a truly unique line of compression-based denim that provides incredible stretch and recovery capabilities (read: no sagging by lunch time) and frames you in all the right places, while still giving you the comfort to move freely.
Working through Gap Inc.’s sourcing team, we partnered with key suppliers to develop innovative stretch and compression technologies to create a series of denim lines across our brands at Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. By tapping into our portfolio’s supply chain, our brands could leverage this technology in a way that worked for each of their customers – both in preference and price point.
Regardless of brand, employees from all over the organization are being brought together through denim summits and ideation sessions. It’s just one way that we’re embracing new, collaborative ways of designing and developing product, while leveraging cutting-edge technologies and applying them to meet the needs of each brand’s unique customer.
And with lines like Old Navy’s Built-In Sculpt Rockstar and Rockstar 24/7, Gap’s Sculpt, and Banana Republic’s Zero-Gravity, customers are already responding.
With more and more of its customers looking for a jean with added stretch that didn’t sag, Old Navy worked to create a new Built-In Sculpt compression technology for the brand’s popular Rockstar denim line last year.
“We challenged ourselves to make denim that fits and performs like leggings but looks like a great pair of jeans. Our Built-In Sculpt denim, offers almost double the amount of stretch found in our standard Rockstar jean, and is engineered to shape and hold you in for an amazing fit. We offer stretch innovation across categories including our men’s and children’s line,” said Alison Partridge, vice president of women’s merchandising.
It’s no surprise then that the Built-In Sculpt Rockstar instantly became a rockstar for Old Navy, and the denim style continues to be one of the brand’s core offerings. The line has continued to evolve across seasons in response to customer demand, increasing its popularity even more with each new iteration. The latest and greatest release of Rockstar denim, the Rockstar 24/7, has all-direction stretch for unbeatable comfort and movement; making it a big bet this Fall.
But it didn’t stop at Old Navy. Both Gap and Banana Republic were able to work with Gap Inc.’s sourcing team and mill partners to refine and modify a similar compression technology across different fabric blends — ultimately delivering quality denim with comfortable lift and compression across a variety of styles catered to each of their customer’s specific needs.
“Our customers told us they desired a jean that could work day to day but also be dressed up. With this in mind, we developed our Sculpt denim, a high stretch jean that gives great comfort and freedom of movement but contours, supports and holds it shape all day long giving the perfect backside advantage – Sculpt is “built for real life,” said Alex Gray, vice president, design.
Gap’s Sculpt denim line for example, incorporating the brand’s customized compression technology can also be found in its GapFit line, which was a hit with customers this Spring. Sculpt denim was a top seller throughout the summer and customers raved about how much they loved its stretch and comfort. And Gap is keeping that momentum going with its latest denim release for Fall 2017.
And Banana Republic’s customers are loving the way this technology is showing up in the brand’s denim, too, in its Zero Gravity Denim line.
“Our Zero Gravity Denim gives you the freedom and comfort of 360 degrees stretch, with the aesthetic of a truly premium authentic denim. We love how these jeans are both sculpting and super comfortable,” said Omar Nobil, senior director, design.
Denim is just one of the ways we’re working differently and collaboratively as a portfolio of brands. In addition to ideation summits, we’re building functional communities – so that regardless of brand, Old Navy designers can share best practices with Banana Republic designers, while Gap merchants can learn from Banana Republic merchants, and so on.
Bringing teams together from across our brands not only help us create the best product out there, but ultimately, help us give our customer exactly what they’re looking for… like that perfect fitting pair of jeans.
Check out Banana Republic's latest innovation and all-in-one super hero pant, the Rapid Movement Chino.