Martin + Osa: American Eagle Going After Gen Xers

Is it just me, or does the website for the new American Eagle concept Martin + Osa, for Gen Xers (ages 28-42) look like a site for Banana Republic? The type, the site design, and even the models look like they were taken straight from the pages of Banana Republic’s brand book, which makes sense because the clothes looks exactly like something you would find at BR. Even the “story” behind the line’s inspiration is similar to Banana Republic’s- except the tropical explorer Banana Jack is replaced by the tropical exploring couple Martin and Osa Johnson

But I’m not drinking, as the kids say, Hatorade… There’s definitely a market for this line. My sister-in-law, whose love of the flagship American Eagle stores has always amazed me, is giddy over this concept. She hasn’t been this happy since I told her about the New Kids on The Block reunion.

The real question is whether or not consumers are past the point of wanting to pay $40 for a cotton shirt they can find at Kohls for $9.99 or $68.00 for a dress that they can find at Steve & Barry’s for less than $20? Will this store go the same way as Gap Inc’s beloved Forth and Towne?