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Gap’s Style, Pop-Culture Highs and Lows Through the Years

The announcement by Gap Inc. that it is closing a quarter of its namesake shops in North America by January may perhaps bring to mind the retailer’s several fashion and pop-culture moments by way of the years, like some iconic advertising campaigns.

“The brand has struggled a bit much more lately obtaining its place in a new competitive marketplace filled with rapid style,” Morningstar senior equity analyst Bridget Weishaar said, although the business had “moments of results” in 2011 and 2012.

Gap Inc., which owns Banana Republic, Old Navy and other brands, will close 175 stores and cut 250 jobs at its headquarters in San Francisco. The enterprise was founded in 1969 by Don and Doris Fisher, who sold Levi’s jeans and records in its initially retailer.

“As noticed from the current announcement, the day of 1,000-shop fleets is a point of the past,” mentioned Simeon Siegel, Nomura Securities executive director, equity research. “Being big comes with its own dangers and Gap is functioning to evolve into the new standard of continuing to drive impressive sales volume when providing item with the sought-right after individualism.”

Here’s a look at some style and pop-culture hits (and perhaps some misses) in Gap’s history:

1980s and on: Drexler, Denim

After style businessman Mickey Drexler was named president of Gap Stores division in December 1983, he expanded upon and complimented the store’s denim concentrate with colorful apparel.

“[Drexler] helped shape the view that we know Gap is nowadays: effectively-created, great pieces for everyone at a price that did not expense you an arm and a leg,” celebrity fashion stylist Catherine Peridis said.

In the 1990s, Gap famously featured celebrities wearing Gap jeans, including rapper LL Cool J in baggy jeans and a non-Gap FUBU hat in 1999:

Once hugely well known, Gap T-shirts and sweatshirts have lost their cache.

“Irrespective of whether due to speedy fashion, Online or something higher, today’s buyers want style and individuality,” stated Siegel. “Logos have faded as individualism has grown.”

1989, 1996: Turtlenecks

Gap most likely can’t take sole credit for popularizing the turtleneck in the 1980s and early 1990s, but the company certainly had a presence in the space.

In 1989, Gap’s successful “Individuals of Style” ad campaign featured unconventional models, such as writer Joan Didion in 1989 with her late daughter Quintana Roo in black turtlenecks.

Here’s Joan Didion’s very first campaign with @Gap in 1989! Chic! Many thanks to our follower @kelleyhoffman for the locate! pic.twitter.com/erTrVrYiNm

Sharon Stone wore a charcoal gray Gap turtleneck to the Oscars in 1996:

Late ’90s: Khakis

Gap’s most iconic moment was its khakis ad campaign, according to Weishaar.

Peridis agreed, adding that the company’s corduroys had been also a major hit.

“As a kid who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, I can nevertheless hum the Gap khaki and cords ads,” Peridis stated, noting a 1999 ad set to the tune of Donovan’s “Mellow Yellow,” which occurred to feature actress Rashida Jones …

… and James Clarke’s “Blow Up a Go-Go” in the very same time period:

2004: Sarah Jessica Parker

Gap decided to showcase “Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker in a couple of ads to celebrate “the expression of person style,” which includes its “How Do You Put on It?” campaign for fall 2004. The organization went beyond just colorful basics and accessories with shrunken jackets and funky cardigans. The company also produced an ad called “Pretty Khaki.”

Even though some enjoyed the look of glamorous star Parker in Gap advertisements, critics, including the analysis firm Fashiobi, stated the pairing was a poor match amongst a basic brand label and its industrial spokesperson.

About Brad Glenn

Brad Glenn
He was born in Tacoma, WA. He graduated from New York University with a degree in Computer Sciences, and now works for an international technology company in Texas. Alongside his day job, John enjoys blogging on tech sites and his personal blogs.

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