While GAP started the fashion trend for the US preppy style casual brands, others, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, which reports next week, have since taken over as the latest must-have logo brand. But their popularity is short. Ubiquity kills them off and fickle fashion followers move on to a new brand.
Like GAP, Abercrombie & Fitch, fell out of favour and has suffered negative sales and profit growth as a result. But it is not alone. UK brands that have emulated this American style, such as Superdry and Jack Wills, face the same problem; they have a short spell in the fashion sun, around three years, generating strong growth, then they are dropped and have to evolve into a brand that can offer more than just a logo to bring in customers.
These brands are neither sports brands, such as Adidas and Nike, or fashion brands such as Zara or H&M, and their casual clothing ranges can be bought anywhere at a fraction of the price without the logo. So when the logo goes out of fashion customers no longer see the value, and shift their spend elsewhere –which is one reason Old Navy is performing well – it offers good value.
When Abercrombie & Fitch came to the UK in 2007, there were queues to get into its store, today there are no longer queues – instead there are queues at Supreme, the latest fashion must-have logo, and one that should take care it has a long term plan for the brand as it is reaching peak recognition.