A recent story that went viral is proof that the appeal of classic five-pocket jeans transcends age.
Gap Inc.-owned Old Navy received a letter from Kamryn Gardner, a 7-year-old at Evening Star Elementary School in Arkansas, expressing frustration that her last few pairs of Old Navy denim didn’t include real pockets. According to an April 1 post on the school’s Facebook page, her class had just finished learning how to craft persuasive letters.
The child’s note read “Dear Old Navy, I do not like that the front pockets of the girls’ jeans are fake. I want front pockets because I want to put my hands in them. I also would like to put things in them. Would you consider making girls jeans with front pockets that are not fake. Thank you for reading my request. Sincerely, Kamryn Gardner, age 7.”
Gardner’s persuasive words worked. In response, the brand sent her two pairs of jeans and two pairs of denim shorts—all with real pockets—along with a note that read, “Thank you so much for taking the time to write us about pockets on girl’s jeans. The Old Navy kids product team appreciate your information. It’s great feedback for us as we develop new product. In appreciation, please accept some girls bottoms for you to enjoy.”
Old Navy’s jeans for girls often feature shallow “scoop” front pockets or faux scoop pockets in the front with functional pockets on the back.
While Gardner’s letter brings awareness to a gap in the children’s denim market, pocket size—and the absence of pockets on jeans—have been common gripes about women’s denim for years. In an effort to provide a smooth and sleek line, many brands eliminate front pockets, or opt for a smaller size pocket bag that is too small to hold modern day essentials like smartphones.
A 2018 report by The Pudding, found that, on average, women’s jeans pockets were 48 percent shorter than the average male pocket. Pockets in women’s jeans were also found to be consistently narrower than their male counterparts, by 6.5 percent on average.
It’s a design woe that even led to the launch of Radian Jeans, a startup that includes six-inch front pockets in its women’s jeans as well secure back pockets that contain an extra flap for further protection.
While it is unknown if Gardner’s letter will lead Old Navy to add or enhance their jeans’ pockets, the brand’s response could earn itself points for the kids’ category, which it’s reportedly been doubling down on in recent months.
During Gap Inc.’s earnings call last month, the company highlighted Old Navy’s success, particularly in the children’s space. The company is focused on expanding its product offerings and apparel categories across the board, noting “disproportionate sales” coming from children’s, as well as the active, fleece and baby categories.