>> Patrick Robinson: Kanye West Not Interning at Gap — Rumors have abounded over the summer that Kanye West — who styled for an upcoming issue of Elle — has been putting in time as an intern at Gap, but this morning, Gap designer Patrick Robinson laughed the notion off: “He’s not my intern! He’s a friend of mine, and he just likes to see what we do. I tell him, if he wants people to take him seriously in fashion, they have to see blood first! They have to see the blood and the sweat, to see that he really wants it — but he definitely has the capability.” [Chic Report]
>> IN PRODUCTION —In past couple of years, Gap has teamed up with CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners and finalists like Phillip Lim, Band of Outsiders, Threeasfour, Philip Crangi, Rodarte, Doo.Ri, and Thakoon to reinterpret their classic white shirt, but this year, Patrick Robinson says it's all about 2008 winner Alexander Wang: "We have Alexander Wang doing the next CFDA collaboration, like what we did with the white shirts last year, only this year it's with khaki. He did this incredible motorcycle jacket in khaki that's going to be under $100. It's coming out on June 16th, so get ready!" [Teen Vogue]
Gap is giving its denim collection a trendy makeover with the launch of its new 1969 Premium Jeans collection. The revised denim collection enlisted the help of premium denim designers to create a quality piece falling within Gap's price range of $60. Furthermore, the new collection is budget friendly and slick. “Across the board, we want it to feel sexy and authentic,” said Gap’s VP of design, Patrick Robinson. “Women want their a— and thighs to look great, and guys just want something easy.” The 1969 Premium Jeans collection drops in August and will include a bevy of skinny and boyfriend cuts along with denim shoes by Pierre Hardy, tops, and hats by Albertus Swanepoel.
The Gap will launch its first signature scent called Close, at the end of April.
Wife of The Gap's Patrick Robinson, Virginia Smith, edits a Vogue.com list of Fall 2009's best investments.
>> The line to get into the Roseland Ballroom, where Alexander Wang showed his Fall 2009 collection, went down the entire block and around the corner — it stayed this way for a good half an hour or so after the show was scheduled to start . . . This season brought in the attendance of Alex's first big celebrity front row — Sarah Jessica Parker; also in attendance were Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Robinson, and Philip Green of Topshop, the latter sparking some questions. Green said Anna Wintour had just suggested that he come check the show out . . . Wang's obsession with Hooters continues — they provided the backstage catering . . . Alex wrote a sign backstage for the models promising "tequila shots for those who don't fall!!!" . . . Fur was worked into his collection for the first time . . . Anna Wintour brought Bee Shaffer along for the first time (lots of firsts); usually she just comes to Proenza Schouler and Marc Jacobs. Does that mean Alex has moved up into Proenza and Marc territory in Anna's eyes? . . . Among the model cast were a few '90s and early '00s faces — Trish Goff (who's also supposed to walk Preen tomorrow), Tasha Tilberg, Natasa Vojnovic, Christina Kruse, and Hannelore Knuts — runway comebacks in the works?
>> Peter Som has had a tough past six months, between the fallout at Bill Blass and the pull out of his eponymous lines' investor. Two weeks ago, he wasn't even sure if he was going to be able to pull anything together for Fashion Week, but he's succeeded in producing something for Fall 2009 — a capsule collection of 16 looks, which he will be showing at private appointments.
Peter's not alone in his misfortune this season — for various other labels, big and small, Fall 2009 isn't panning out so well either. Some, like Peter, have had to cancel their runway show in favor of showroom appointments (Sari Gueron) or lookbooks (Francis by Christian Francis Roth, who just tried to stage a comeback last season). Some are just plain nixing their shows (Benjamin Cho, Hanii Y, Sue Stemp, Rubin Singer).
Poor newcomer Mikhael Kale had to cancel his show because his samples were damaged during shipping; he's remaking the collection for press and buyer appointments in two weeks' time. Italian knitwear label Malo, designed by Alessandro Dell'Acqua, is totally missing in action, even though it always draws Carine Roitfeld and Franca Sozzani front row. And Patrick Robinson has postponed Gap's presentation until April. Here's to hoping the news only gets better from here.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Are bold prints in Alexander Wang's future? As part of his CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund win, he's been paired up with Diane von Furstenberg and DVF president Paula Sutter, who will serve as his business mentors for a year. Runners-up Albertus Swanepoel and Vena Cava were paired up with Andy and Kate Spade, and Gap's Patrick Robinson and Theory's Andrew Rosen, respectively. [Vogue UK]
>> The future of Bill Blass doesn't look so good, but another troubled house may be on the rise: Paco Rabanne.
The label's ready-to-wear line was closed in 2006, leaving designer Patrick Robinson to take his current position as executive vice president of design for Gap. Now, Rabanne owners Puig have just appointed a new vice president who is looking into following what Gibo is doing to resuscitate Rochas — licensing out the ready-to-wear.
The plan isn't runway-ready just yet — the new strategy is expected to be under review for up to four months — but Paco Rabanne fragrances have been taking off recently, and expanding into fashion seems the next logical step. Paolo Melim Andersson, with his love of disk shapes and graphic designs, could be the right man for the job.
>> A LITTLE TURN ON THE CATWALK —All minds are still curious to see what Patrick Robinson can do for Gap, so yesterday when he debuted his first full Spring collection for the brand, editors came in droves. Sarah Lerfel, fresh off the "impossible" Colette x Gap opening on Saturday, took a tour around with Hello Kitty bag in tote, pausing to mingle before exiting sans a Colette x Gap goody bag. Others stayed longer, enjoying the four kinds of juice offered, brightly colored enough to go with the collection on display — one model even partook (left).
Also of note: The chunky wooden Pierre Hardy Design Edition platforms are apparently coming in all different colors next Spring.