Fast fashion is revolutionizing retail.
The migration of stylish trends from the catwalk to “cheap chic” retail occurs overnight, becoming readily available to shoppers with a taste for luxury but an eye for bargains. Many of us would love to stock our closets with Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and the rest; instead, we happily grace the doors of retailers known for style and affordable quality.
A new phenomenon in the fast fashion industry is “simple luxury”: girls with perfectly curled hair and a full face of makeup put on yoga pants and their Nikes and accessorize with baseball caps. Boyfriend tees pair with Louis Vuitton bags. It’s sensible madness, and cute and comfy to boot. Leisurewear is becoming a staple among high-end markets – and yes, unfortunately I’ve paid over $100 for the “perfect” pair of yoga pants – but if you’re on a budget, spending $80+ dollars on every item of workout clothing you own becomes problematic. But that’s where Old Navy comes in, filling the gap and setting a precedent for comfortable, budget-happy chic styles. Budgets should never result in a compromise of quality or style, nor automatically result in settling for less. Old Navy has come a long way in recognizing consumer need and is seizing its opportunity to fill a much-needed market void with high quality yet affordable prices.
Old Navy has managed to perfectly couple its more traditional fashions to the ever-changing fast-fashion market. Being an incredibly loyal corporation, they manage to stay true to their faithful clientele base while snagging the interest of younger, edgier consumers. I know this to be true because I am fortunate enough to currently work for Old Navy as one of their general managers in the central territory. My time with the company may only be less than a year but it didn’t take long for me to realize how much respect and loyalty this company has for its customers. Recognizing the popularity of fast fashion trends (such as skinny jeans and active wear), Old Navy still offers something for everyone, but now on a whole new level.
After spending years routinely paying $100 for a pair of skinny jeans, spending a fraction of the price, for jeans similar in quality and style seems almost ludicrous. And yet, here I am, walking around in my affordable Old Navy jeans that fit like a glove – their expansion of “fit” ensures everyone can find a pant for their particular body type (I’m a super skinny-through-the-leg, loose-at-the-waist type of girl). I have never seen jeans fly off the shelf so fast than I do when I’m at Old Navy. The Old Navy “perfect tee” is also another great example of a simple yet must-have item in every girls closet. These tees are tailored to fit every body shape perfectly. The varieties and styles are endless (relaxed, boyfriend, fitted, swing, oversized, cocoon, and loose fit). Old Navy makes it impossible for shoppers not to fall in love with these adorable fashion staples. The best thing about these tees is their versatility and endless ways to wear them. You can wear the same tee with a pair of active wear leggings or dress it up with a pair of boyfriend jeans, heels, and a statement piece of jewelry. As always, there is no greater feeling then feeling confident and sexy throwing on a white tee and a pair of skinny jeans.
Along the same lines of casual fast fashion, Old Navy’s athleisure has taken off in recent years, and caters to both serious athletes and girls who like to emulate the athletic look, but whose definition of “active” is more open-minded – as in, I put on active wear to make myself think I worked out. (Shamelessly, I have been a victim of doing this a few times). Majority of the time, I consider myself a health conscious girl who loves yoga and a few sessions of cardio a week. Old Navy has transformed my outlook when it comes to their active wear line. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first being an avid buyer of luxury athletic wear myself. I bought my first pair of Old Navy active leggings and I was blown away. I have never received so many compliments from viewers and athletes. From there, it all went down hill, thankfully my wallet didn’t suffer because their prices are spectacular. The leggings are a great fit for all body types, they fit snug throughout the leg, yet offer a loose waistline both in high rise and low rise options. The active tanks and bras are not only stylish but also very durable with breathable fabric. My favorite athletic look is a pair of their go-dry compression leggings paired with a cross back sports bra and loose graphic active tank. My motto has always been, “even if you are sweating from head to toe, you might as well look cute while suffering.”
With summer quickly approaching, swimwear is exploding in retail. From high waisted bikinis to low rise cheeky, Old navy’s swim collection is a hot seller. No six pack yet? Not a problem. Girls, your new best friend will be the high-rise swim bottom. This option will grip around your body and give you the support and full coverage you want. Personally, I have always been a fan of the low-rise swim bottoms paired with and bandeau or long line swim top. Whether you are a fan of the flirty triangle bikini, or an edgier criss cross top, or the classic one-piece swimsuit, you can’t go wrong with Old Navy’s endless collection.
Despite the influx of newer, “cutting edge” fashion, Old Navy still carries the same classic styles that made it a household name. I am still in love with the simple cami tank dress Old Navy is known for, but also appreciate the elegance and variety of their shift dresses, swing dresses, midi and maxi dresses – the options are endless, but all perfectly fit the simple luxury mold, allowing consumers to dress up or down depending on mood and occasion.
I can’t describe a happier feeling than the one I have walking into my store each morning, knowing as a team, my company strives to make each customer’s experience validating and rewarding. As a GM the most rewarding feeling for me is when I see a repeat customer walk into my building. It is such a rewarding and comforting feeling knowing that I have invested my future in a company who is passionate about their people. I can’t thank my merchandising team enough for making sure we have a varied, pleasing display, with something for everyone. From relaxed, traditional clothing to newer styles and trends, Old Navy is constantly evolving and providing consumers with high quality styles at reasonable prices – that’s a combination that can’t be beat.
*WHAT IVE BEEN UP TO LATELY*
I just had my first ever visit from our new VP of central territory, director of visual merchandising, and Market director. I’m not meaning to brag or anything, but central territory has some of the most influential and motivating leaders I have ever met! To see how passionate these leaders are for not only our territory but also for the whole company is truly inspiring. These leaders were so welcoming and so focused on our development and ways how they can support us.
We have some more very exciting upper field visits this month that I am absolutely overjoyed about! Stay tuned for my next post where I cant wait to continue sharing my journey as a general manager for Old Navy! Ill be sharing how my visits went and some exciting milestones my store has hit!