We are living in an era of economic oxymorons. Crowds line up for gourmet food trucks, CEOs fly coach, and the vain receive Botox on the beach. Thus, timing was perfect when Gap relaunched their 1969 denim line two years ago. The 1969 brand offers consumers a premium fit and cut but at reasonable Gap price points. The average pair of 1969 jeans is $70, a competitive price compared to the $200 average cost of designer denim these days.
We visited the 1969 design studio in downtown Los Angeles yesterday for a preview of their Fall 2011 line. Though Gap’s creative team is based out of New York and their merchandising headquarters is in San Francisco, the 1969 team set up shop in downtown Los Angeles, “the heart of the denim industry” according to Rosella Giuliani. Giuliani and her team of eighteen employees work in an open loft space just steps from the Los Angeles Fashion District. But the studio’s close proximity to the country’s best denim factories, wash houses and laundries is not the only reason 1969 chose Los Angeles as its home. Southern California’s good vibrations juxtapose East Coast sophistication in a good way, and having bicoastal design teams for 1969 denim as well as Gap gives the company a dynamic advantage.