Gap Inc. wants in on the Namaste market


Almost every day, I get an email from Gap Inc. That's because its web operation spans Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and online shoe emporium Piperlime -- so there's always a new shipment coming in or sale going down.

Back in April, though, Gap Inc. sent out a different kind of email. "Introducing the newest addition to our Gap Inc. family: Athleta," it read. Beneath a photo of a woman cross-legged on a yoga mat, arms twisted towards the sky, the text continued: "Celebrating the beauty of strength with feminine, performance-driven apparel for your entire active life."

Since I've been periodically perusing the site since that email, let me debunk that flowery tagline for you. Athleta is a line of workout apparel. The bedrock of the brand is yogawear -- slim-fitting, stretchy racerback tanks and cotton-spandex capri pants. There's even a selection of goods for hot yoga, if you're so inclined to torture yourself that way. Beyond the yogawear, there are training-friendly swimsuits, cycling shorts, breathable hiking tops and more.