gap storefront

A Gap storefront in San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Getty Images

Ciao, Gap!

The brand synonymous with American fashion is planning to move into one of Europe's fashion capitals – Milan.

Along with Banana Republic, the Gap will open side-by-side flagship stores in Milan's Corso Vittorio Emanuele later this year. The company also plans to open in other Italian cities such as Rome in 2011.

"As we continue to expand our global presence, we are excited to enter another market that's also one of the top five apparel markets in the world," Stephen Sunnucks, president of Europe and international franchise at Gap Inc., said in a release.

"With loyal shoppers already in London and Paris, we think Gap Inc.'s brands will strongly resonate with Italian customers."

Milan's Gap store is a whopping 84,000 square feet, spread over three floors, and will house the Gap, GapKids, babyGap, GapBody, and GapMaternity collections.

The new Banana Republic, at 57,607 square feet, will carry the brand's sportswear collections for men and women, plus accessories, and body products.

Interestingly, another venerable American brand, Brooks Brothers, developed almost a cult following -- especially for its dress shirts -- among Milanese men. This ultimately resulted in the brand being bought by Claudio del Vecchio, a Brooks Brothers shirt addict, and completely revitalized.

Benvenuto Gap!

In other international news, read which British clothing line is coming to the U.S.