The Story: Founded in 1969 as a shop selling Levi’s and records, Gap pretty much invented the idea of a a “specialty retailer,” or a store which primarily sells its own line of goods to a very specific audience. (For Gap, that’s the pretty middle class American.) Now it’s one of the biggest clothing chains in the world.
The Pros: A fantastic collaboration with Pierre Hardy and soon, Valentino; creative director Patrick Robinson, who has been working his butt off to revive the label, which struggled in the aughts. Also, great fitting pants.
The Cons: Too many of the directional pieces get dropped before Robinson’s collection hits the floors. The stores are also poorly merchandised.