Gap Launches 1969 Premium Denim
Tue Apr 21, 1:37 pm ET
Renata Espinosa

New York – The latest Gap product to get an upgrade from Patrick Robinson, executive vice president of design, is denim, with a new premium collection, "1969," which will debut for Fall 2009.

Gap gave a sneak peek of the new additions to their denim roster at a press preview in New York on Monday, April 20, with a line-up of diverse styles and washes for both men and women, from skinny to straight and the new "boyfriend" jean for women, to re-designed boot cuts for both, from light to dark rinses and all shades in between.

"Gap's about a lot of options," said Robinson. "Every fit has a person behind it, from curvy to long and lean. You find out who you are and get the jean to fit it."

Robinson spent a year and a half with the Gap denim design team to redo everything from the fit and the wash to come up with a collection of denim under $60 that rivals premium brands that retail for $150 to $500.

"I'm using our size as my advantage to get the price down," said Robinson, who said that Gap developed proprietary fabrics and sewing techniques with their extensive worldwide network of mills and factories so that their product would be unique, and also cost less to produce.

Robinson said they brought in all the people who run the floors of the factories around the world - where the production happens - to meet with Gap's technical team over the course of a week so that they could show them the exact construction specifications.

"There's an internal meticulousness," said Robinson. "Everything from how they sit, how they hug the back and lift up the behind to how to make a knee on a boot leg cut fall straight down and not twist."

The key task for Robinson for the women's collection was to make the fit "sexy" where it counts the most - namely, in the rear and the thigh - and for men, to make sure the jean "fits like a dream, with an aesthetic that's cool."

"It's about dressing America," said Robinson. "You may only like one style and your friend may only like another. There's something for everyone."

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