It looks like Threadless has scored yet another major partnership. In 2010 they hooked up with Thermos and Target Stores nationwide. This year they’ve partnered with GAP and have invaded malls across the United States. I’m sure that this is a huge deal for Threadless that will indeed add nicely to their bottom line. However, I don’t know how I feel about this.
By doing this it’s as if Threadless is losing that element of exclusivity that made them special for me. Or maybe they’ve already lost that exclusive element and I’ve just been ignorant to it. It no longer is the case that you need to be in the know when it comes to Threadless. With the new GAP partnership, any Tom, Dick, and Jane can walk into one of the 3,248 GAP stores spread across the United States and pick up a Threadless T-Shirt.
Of course, this is great for the designers and the exposure that they will be receiving. It must be a seriously cool feeling to walk into a GAP store and see your hard work on display. However, is Threadless spreading itself too thin? Do they risk becoming another Quicksilver, Hurley, or Billabong? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Quicksilver, Hurley, and Billabong. Except my mom knows about each of those brands. Heck, my grandma probably does too. They aren’t exclusive brands like, or maybe how, Threadless used to be. Maybe Threadless has grown and no longer wants to be a niche brand that caters to the small crowd of artists and designers littering the Internet. Maybe Threadless wants world domination. Whatever it is, I just hope that Threadless tees never end up on a shelf at my local Wal-Mart. That, my friends, would be fucked up.
With that said…where’s the nearest GAP?