FASHION On Location—SF News
OCTOBER 2011 FEATURE
By KC Badala, Avani Bahl, Alecia Cotton, Carolyn Frost, Julia Schulman and Sari Weisoff - from Drake High, Marin Horizon, Saint Mark’s, Tam High and White Hill Middle Schools
Stepping over the threshold into a world of fashion, you are greeted by mannequins of all sizes wearing colorful stripes, plaids and solids. You glide past a rainbow wall of startlingly bright blues and greens, to rooms where designers smartly assemble swatches of rich fabrics into shirts and dresses like puzzles. Color, shapes and texture delight the senses. What is this center for design, this fashionista’s paradise? None other than the Old Navy headquarters in San Francisco. FastForward got an inside peek at how the fashion industry works in an inspiring interview with the bosses, and it’s no secret: Old Navy is a haven of flair, design and straight-up talent.
Anu Narayanan, Vice President of Women’s Merchandising, was the first to introduce us to her world. Her rules for fashion? It’s gotta be cute, affordable, and easy to dress up or down. For Anu, Old Navy’s core customer is “Jenny,” a woman between 25 and 35 years old, who loves to be fashionable, but won’t sacrifice comfort and practicality. It’s Old Navy’s job to make her clothes comfortable and cute at the same time. How about a pair of heels that can be snazzily dressed up with an evening gown or effortlessly dressed down with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt? This is a key part of Anu’s job. She’s always thinking about what is best for customers. In fact, she explains that Old Navy’s tees are their bestselling item and they’re constantly working to make them better. They’re currently developing new shirts that are softer, shrink less, and have more vibrant color. As Jenny might say, “Yes, please!”