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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ladybrille African Fashion News #2

Retail giant, The Gap, headquartered in San Francisco, California, is in BIG retail trouble. For a while, it has missed the mark with America's fashion-forward because of its very bland fashions,among many issues. This week, its CEO announced his resignation, which of course leaves the former retail giant more vulnerable than it already is. What's interesting, however, is that this same week, The Gap made the headlines as it plans to open stores in South Africa[SA].
Whaaaaaaaat! Okay. We do know that a lot of American fashion labels/designers and media are in SA. You can find Cosmopolitan, Oprah, Levi's, Revlon, L'Oreal and the list goes on, in SA. Of course forget the fact that the relationship is not reciprocal. Africa's time will come, right? Be optimistic! Back to The Gap. How does The Gap plan to be successful in SA when within the states, home base, they have not accomodated the tastes, styles, and culture of Americans?
Does The Gap perceive Africa's women to be even more bland? The Gap take notes. I do bill for my services. Surf the web, meet some in person, travel to SA and you will understand this ain't no "Kumbayah and we are grateful to wear your bland khaki and white T-shirt" because we are naked. Oh no, no, no, no! The SA woman is urban, cosmopolitan, chic, trendy, sexy and definitely not into the outdated business. Plus, they love colors, fit, design details and more colors. So, if you plan to launch in SA, "you best to come with your 'A' game." Otherwise, you might have to move to the Far East as another last resort.
By the way, are there plans to produce/manufacture, design and retail in SA or does The Gap plan to have "Made in Indonesia" garments sold in SA? Needless to say, SA's fashion industry could use creation of more jobs especially for the fabric manufacturers. We shall wait and see.
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