I’ve lived here over four years now, and as a rule, I don’t clothing-shop here. Maybe once a year I’ll buy the odd pair of loose ‘Israeli’ pants or a fun Jerusalem-hippie skirt, but I don’t find that this country’s fashion sense has much to offer me (and I can’t afford the high-end stuff which may be passable).
So you could say there’s been a ‘gap’ between what Israel has to offer and what I do buy and wear… from the States when I go visit. I’m not complaining; it works out well. For the same money you’ll pay in the States, you’ll get much better quality that lasts longer in my little European washing machine.
Anyway, for months I’ve been seeing articles here and there about a beacon of American everyday fashion: the Gap is coming to Israel. Some of girlfriends have squealed in delight – “finally! crew neck tees in 24375692437 colors!” – and some have shrugged their shoulders – “the price will be too high anyway.”
Gap has had its ups and downs – with the public, with its bank account and with me. I used to be a dedicated – yet alternative – Gap shopper until probably five or so years ago. So it doesn’t necessarily hurt that it’s coming but I don’t know that it will help.
Here are some of the facts I’ve gathered through articles I’ve seen:
- Gap is due to open in Israel in August.
- One store in Tel Aviv, one in Jerusalem.
- Banana Republic is due to arrive in a year and a half from now.
- The NIS prices of the Gap products will be hiked up %20 from American prices.
- The franchise is being operated by Elbit Imaging.
- They would bring Old Navy too if they could, but currently the Old Navy chain doesn’t go international.
- Gap is also branching out into Egypt and Jordan.
Here’s what I haven’t seen a newspaper article address: How exactly does Gap style fit into the Middle East? I never understood how it fits into European style, either.
As a friend said: it’ll be interesting to watch the women match up the pseudo-preppyness with spiked heels and the men buy the jeans 3 sizes too small.