Store Design: Returning to Roots

Remember when The Gap used to be cool?

Yeah, me neither. I'm pretty sure I wasn't even alive then.

While it's always been a mainstay for affordable basics in decent materials and seasonally appropriate, colors, lately the lack luster "all-american" brand has done nothing for itself except for continuing to disappoint it's shareholders. It went from being a pioneer of specialty retail, to the example of "how-to-ruin-your-brand-without-really-trying."

Enter The Official Manufacturing Company.

True masters of identity and design, the OMFG Co. did the unimaginable and through partnering with The Gap on the store design for the Glendale, CA location, has made The Gap (at least in one location) fresh and exciting again.

The inspiration seems to follow the origins of the brand. The design highlights the foundations in which the company was founded, but also recognizes where it is today.

The minimal displays make the clothing feel special, not mass produced and available in every suburb in America. The clean and minimal clothing displays are reminiscent of A.P.C., but with clothes for the "every-man." 
Add in the punchy record sleeve covers, and the racks of conventional basics now convey a sort of rock and roll attitude that adds just that extra bit of cool.

The outfitting  and displays convey a true lifestyle. It is very accessible, yet inspiring, which appeals to the customer, which remains the same. None of the outfits are over styled, and the combined display of laid out clothing, cubbies, and hanging rails keep the shopping experience fresh.

The core of the project is highlighted in the photo above. With the new design, the clothing takes on a new higher appeal, which might be intimidating, but The Gap, still loves it's customer.

In saying "So Glad You're Here," it's as though they're really saying, "You're the best, and this is for you."

What do you think? Did they capture the spirit of The Gap? Do you think the new design alienates their core customer?

All images can be found here.

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