Gap Inc. Taps Dôen for Wide-ranging Fashion Collaboration


Dôen, the L.A. fashion and lifestyle brand loved by Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Kylie Jenner among others, is getting its biggest spotlight to date with a new 51-piece Gap collaboration launching Friday in more than 150 stores in 14 countries, and online at Gap.com.

The marriage of the two born-in-California companies brings Dôen’s romantic spirit to the American retailer’s classic offering with floral sets, denim, khaki, eyelet dresses, loungewear and accessories, all priced from $19.95 to $158. The collection has shared styles and prints for matching moments in kid, toddler and baby sizing.

“The fusing of our feminine nostalgia with their minimal ’90s nostalgia was an exciting design proposition and fun to work on,” said Katherine Kleveland, who founded Dôen with her sister Margaret in 2016 as a digital-first contemporary brand of women’s vintage-inspired ruffled blouses and dresses sold through a collective of female tastemakers with social media reach.

Female empowerment and motherhood are brand touchstones for Dôen, which has since grown into a lifestyle offering with 10 collections a year (the most recent one shot in Positano); childrenswear; loungewear; accessories, and bed linens. Headquartered in Van Nuys, the business has 115 employees, five stores, and wholesales through Net-a-porter and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Gap x Dôen Campaign with Lily and Ruby Aldridge

Gap x Dôen campaign with Lily and Ruby Aldridge.

Courtesy of Gap

Sisterhood carries through the Gap x Dôen campaign featuring model Lily Aldridge and her sister, model and singer Ruby Aldridge. Shot by Dan Martensen, the photography and accompanying feel-good video celebrate Dôen’s family values with Gap’s playful portraiture and friendly marketing approach.

“At Gap, we’re on a journey to drive cultural relevance and connect with talent that embody originality. With our collaborations, we connect with partners who can reinvent our icons and bring the brand to life in new and relevant ways,” Mark Breitbard, president and chief executive officer of Gap, said in a statement to WWD. “The collection features these most-loved essentials — the logo sweatshirt, denim and khaki trousers, the denim jacket — along with items that reflect the classic Dôen style. They have been a wonderful partner and I’m excited to showcase another example of our creative and marketing transformation.”  

“Our goal is to reach a wide age demographic as well as price demographic,” said Margaret Kleveland of the appeal of doing the Dôen x Gap collection, which is priced about 40 to 50 percent less than their main line. Plus, the designers, who started their careers at L.A. brand Joie, have a genuine affinity for Gap.

“We are customers of Gap Baby and Toddler and the women on our team are customers, and we’ve seen our friends in the fashion world are vintage collectors of Gap…so to combine our existing customers as well as an entirely new audience…was a good opportunity,” she said.

The collection reinterprets many of Dôen’s greatest hits while pushing the envelope on Gap’s classic designs with on-trend wide-leg pleated khaki pants; a white eyelet sundress with Dôen’s signature smocked bodice; a floral print bias-cut dress and slip skit; a short-sleeve blouse with ruffle collar, and an oversized denim jacket with feminine draped sleeves, as examples.

Gap x Dôen Campaign with

Gap x Dôen campaign with Lily and Ruby Aldridge.

Courtesy of Gap

There are also striped button-down shirts inspired by their mom Faith Kleveland’s Gap Originals styles from the 1980s; pointelle knit camis, sweaters and socks; mary jane shoes; logo sweatshirts; baseball caps, and canvas totes.

“In our own collection we’ve had successful white eyelet shorts and tops. The dress with Gap combines some of our bestselling designs we’ve done in print with that fabrication and in my mind that’s going to be a stunner,” said Margaret Kleveland.

A look at the Gap x Dôen collection.

A look at the Gap x Dôen collection.

Courtesy of Gap

To market the collaboration the two brands are taking a joint approach, including leveraging Dôen’s gifting strategy to its community of celebrities and influencers. “User generated content creation has been a huge part of what’s made Dôen different in celebrating clothes on different bodies. So we’re doing that in a much bigger way with Gap,” said Katherine Kleveland, adding that there will also be digital marketing and store installations rolling out at the Gap at The Grove in L.A. and beyond.

The sisters started working on the collection about a year ago, before Richard Dickson was announced as CEO and president of the San Francisco-based, $16 billion corporation, and before Zac Posen was appointed creative director.

Dickson’s prescription for turning around Gap Inc. — giving each brand a stronger identity, leveraging music and pop culture to drive relevance and fashion, and working to champion original, trend-right products — seems to be gathering momentum, with Gap swinging back into the black during the fourth quarter.

The Klevelands left the door open to an ongoing collaboration with the retailer: “They did say when they placed their final buy it was going to be their biggest collaboration to date structured in this way. The amount of doors nearly doubled our initial projection,” Margaret Kleveland said. “Throughout the working process, we got so much good feedback and they were so thrilled with the presentation that…let’s say, it’s evolved.”

Gap x Dôen Campaign with Lily and Ruby Aldridge

Gap x Dôen

Courtesy of Gap

The Gap collection is a milestone for Dôen, not yet 10 years old, and starting to look wider for expansion, including internationally. The brand had a pop-up at the boutique Merci during Paris Fashion Week and recently launched a collaboration with French sandal brand K. Jacques.

It’s a personal win, too.

“My middle child, he is really excited,” Katherine Kleveland said of her 10-year-old, Shep. “He asked if he could be the first one to get the sweatshirt, which felt so sweet. Because there will be women out in L.A. wearing our dresses who will come up, but that doesn’t relate to their little world. The kids’ T-shirts are organic Gap T-shirts and their underwear are organic Gap briefs, so they’re like, ‘Mom is finally doing something that relates to us.’”



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