As the end of the year draws to a close, there’s one holiday tradition that families across the country look forward to: the family photo in matching PJs! Old Navy is a destination for families, primarily due to the growing popularity of the family matching sleep business. The matching Jingle Jammies concept started in 2016 with one dog print and one buffalo check print. Since then, it has grown into a customer-favorite category that expands year after year. Now in the fifth season, Old Navy’s Jingle Jammies aren’t just a seasonal customer favorite, but a way for the brand to honor all the festive ways people close out the year.
But how do all these fun prints and patterns come together? We met with Old Navy's design, merchandising and inventory management teams to get a behind-the-scenes look at the design process, and how this season’s assortment leans into the feeling of togetherness that Holiday 2021 brings. But first, a few fun facts:
- Between Halloween and New Year’s Eve in 2020, Old Navy sold nearly 20 million pairs of Jingle Jammies in-stores and online!
- To give an idea of scale, that’s:
- 222 pairs sold every minute.
- Enough to outfit the entire Bay Area with at least two pairs of Jingle Jammies for each person!
- Enough to fill Oracle Park, Chase Center, Yankee Stadium and MetLife Stadium combined with more than 87 pairs for each seat!
For starters, design teams start sourcing inspiration almost a full year prior to product hitting stores and online. And inspiration for these whimsical designs comes from everywhere: macro trends, pop culture, the high fashion runways, and stationary prints. The Old Navy teams design, hand sketch and even paint the patterns that end up in the final assortment, and they also work with different artist studios to leverage more diverse inspiration and styles. The print team designed more than 120 different unique prints to land on the final, perfect range of the 26 prints and patterns adopted for Holiday 2021 line of Jingle Jammies.
“Our team of designers aren’t only super talented artists, they’re also hilarious! The magic really happens when the Print and Graphics designers get together and brainstorm to come up with the funniest storytelling for the Old Navy Jingle Jammies. They add a sense of whimsy and our ‘Old Navy wink’ to their designs for Holiday—it’s how we differentiate ourselves as a brand,” said Caroline Foster of the Print and Pattern design team.
And of course, customer feedback always plays a part. One of the most requested additions to pajama bottoms? Pockets! This year, for the first time ever, Men’s, Women’s and Kids PJs have pockets for stashing all your holiday snacks, treats, or whatever you fancy.
Most importantly, teams are showcasing Old Navy’s commitment to inclusivity and representation, driving toward the commitments made in June of 2020. Last year, Old Navy introduced a Hannukah print along with the customer-favorite inclusive Santa print in three skin tones inspired by the Gap Inc. Color Proud Council (CPC), an employee group that is part of the company’s Equality & Belonging Team. The CPC played a part in selecting specific colors to reflect skin tones that reflect the diversity of our Old Navy customer. This is an important part in delivering our belief that people should see themselves when and where they shop, and part of a larger effort to democratize product, print and graphics to represent our current customer base.
This year, all three skin tone Santas are back with more cc’s across the line and a deeper inventory to meet customer demand from last year. This commitment to showcasing our customer base in what we design doesn’t stop at family sleep. Teams look at every single print with the same brand filter of representation through our designs, identifying where to diversify them with different body types and skin tones. Additionally, the holiday family sleep idea evolved in 2020 to include a “Pride 365” message about LGBTQ+ representation year-round, not just limited to Pride month. This is reflected in the Pride sleepwear collection introduced last summer and is accompanied by its Jingle Jammies counterpart in the colder seasons.
This year’s seasonal marketing campaign is centered around the ALL-idays to celebrate all cultures, backgrounds, denominations, and ethnicities. In addition to the wide range of Family Matching Jingle Jammies this year, Old Navy launched an inclusive Santa BOOTcamp—an online program for ALL prospective Santas that are interested in spreading the holiday spirit, regardless of ethnicity or culture.
Building on the customer excitement over this category, the teams produced 26 unique family matching sleep prints this year—compared to last year’s 12—all under $50. And don’t worry, the original dog print from year one finds its way into the line year after year!