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We went to The Grove to check out what the availability and stock of the Gap Artist Editions T-shirts—the collab between the chain and NYC's Whitney Museum of American Art, featuring tees by Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Marilyn Minter, Kiki Smith, Cai Guo-Qiang, Barbara Kruger, Ashley Bickerton, Kenny Scharf, Glenn Ligon, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Kerry James Marshall, Hanna Liden and Sarah Sze. The selection was plentiful (most of the artists' tees were represented) and there were a lot left. Interesting since the shirts are places front-and-center when you walk in, eye-catching with so many distinct designs, and high-quality as T-shirts go. Most shoppers just past by with barely a glance; one woman knew all about the collab and talked with a friend about the Kiki Smith. Perhaps it's in part because LA-ers don't have a strong connection with the Whitney?
As for the other merch, we took a look-see. Ever since Patrick Robinson came on as the head of design, eyes have been on the Gap to see if he would turn it around, put it back on the map. And though we'd been watching online, we hadn't had a real inspection since pieces have been coming in. The details of the pieces are what struck us—pintucking, crochet trim, better fabrications—making everything feel more designed. Also, the palettes just seem better, with chambray, deep eggplant, poppy, preppy plaids, milky greens. It's been a while since we actually wanted something from the store (besides the collabs), but that tide is turning. [RackedWire]