Fashion’s mania for mixing “high” and “low”—evident in Sharon Stone’s pairing of a white Gap button-down shirt with a Vera Wang skirt at the 1998 Oscars—has become business reality with the Gap Inc.’s $130-million purchase of upscale women’s retailer Intermix Holdco Inc. The partnership furrowed a few Botoxed brows, but generally was viewed as win-win—an extension of the Gap’s move into the multi-brand, premium arena initiated with its 2010 purchase of Piperlime.com. It gives the Gap a needed toehold in the luxury market for overseas expansion, as well as access to the fashion-forward savvy necessary to compete against Zara and H&M. The plan is to expand Intermix, which will be run by existing management, well beyond its 28 North American stores. We won’t ever see an Intermix next to every Gap, but bank on seeing its high-end patina deployed for the masses who shop at the mothership.
Gap buys women’s retailer Intermix Holdco Inc.
The casual clothing brand is extending into the upscale market