Thursday, March 15, 2012
Spring is in full sinonasal swing here in Houston, swept in with kamikaze pollens and fended off only slightly with the help of a mercenary army of hardcore histamine blockers. Our particular school break falls a bit later than most, in early April, and this year the dervish, Irma la Douce (Nero's mother), and yours truly will jump in the SUVee and make our way to the Crescent City. Alas, the Pharaoh has a prior travel commitment and won't be joining our merry trio, but we plan on making plenty of mischief just the same, all awash in jazz, beignets and generalized New Orleans bedlam.
In anticipation of next month's po-boy pilgrimage, Nero popped into Gap Kids to take a bite out of the clothing company's latest flashmob fashion offering, Diane Von Furstenberg's "Exclusive DVF Collection." Left with nothing but shards and flame-stitched vestiges during last year's Missoni for Target stampede, Nero was surprised but relieved to find no line snaking out the door. I was floored, however, to discover that the collection is limited to girls only.
How odd, and seemingly a first for the Gap, which has offered special editions before but always, that I can recall, included both genders in the mix. This is, after all, Gap Kids we're talking about here, not Gap Girls. Those in search of gender exclusivity can always cross the mall to, er, Justice, I reckon. Despite approaching the racks with an open mind, there wasn't a single crossover piece in the whole colorful cornucopia. Nary a sneaker, paint-splattered t-shirt, or espadrille that could've masqueraded as unisex, even on the countercultural cobblestones of NOLA. Nero, usually rather tickled by these fickle fashion farces, found myself uncharacteristically incensed. The generally dormant mother lion in me reared her haughty head. What do you mean, Gap, by leaving out our little Simbas? Why Diane, we know you're a champion of woman's rights and all, but what on earth were you thinking? Surely the shops would stand to make double the profits if both manner of cubs were serviced.
In the end, Nero escaped the frilly fray with two pairs of brightly colored chinos and a festive tee from the regular boys' line, all of which were on sale, and so I still count myself thankful and on the receiving end. But I would suggest that next time Gap Kids decides to stage a showy, special-edition campaign attached to a big designer name, they'd do best to take a page from the book of good PR and more so from the happy gumbo that is the backbone of any rich and varied society: have the clothing cater to both the boys and the girls -- the "Kids" of Gap Kids.
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