Sunday, November 29, 2015
GAP,is a one syllable name of a clothing store that everyone is familiar with. Maybe you at one time owned a logo sweatshirt or perhaps a pair of jeans. This clothing store was originally founded by Donald and Doris Fisher in 1969 because they could not find pairs of jeans that actually fit...I feel their pain (and thanks Wikipedia for the information!). I even found out that one of the first few stores was in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, New Jersey, pretty close to home! A store mainly founded because of the hunt for the perfect fitting jeans became a phenomenon including rainbow colored scarves, skittle-colored sweaters and corduroy pants that were very cool in the 90s despite the annoying rubbing sound they would make. I chose to write about the GAP because of the resurgence of the 1990s fashion and during this time GAP dominated the mainstream fashion industry. Frankly any clothing chain that has its own SNL skit (who remembers GAP girls with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley and David Spade?) is famous in its own right. All kidding aside, consumers would wait for the GAP to tell them what color was in, what sweater to buy and would dictate what "Everybody" would be in that season. This was done through very clever marketing strategies. There was endless catchy commercials, with GAP models covering noteworthy songs from "Mellow Yellow" "Just Can't Get Enough" and "Dress You Up", the closing to the commercial would have a tagline such as "Everybody in Vests" or "Everybody in Leather". The catchy tunes faded away however well into the 2000s and currently, GAP still relies on celebrity endorsements. Some of the celebrities that have donned GAP attire include Michael J. Fox, Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker and Audrey Hepburn in an unforgettable commercial which epitomizes what GAP stands for. Audrey Hepburn was seen wearing a plain black turtleneck and black cigarette pants. This look will never go out of style and though GAP's commercials are no longer making headlines and in fact there was a recent article stating GAP will be closing stores and having major layoffs, it still will shy away from trends and stick to classics. GAP Inc. is now a clothing conglomerate including the likes of Banana Republic and Old Navy. If Old Navy and GAP were sisters, I'd have to say Old Navy would be the Elizabeth Olsen and GAP would be the Mary Kate and Ashley...meaning Old Navy is younger, newer on the scene and maybe a bit more current, but you still look to the GAP to see what it has online or in the windows. They will be the ones who's outfits will stand the test of time more so than Old Navy. They stick to their brand and won't even change their logo. Once they tried changing their logo and received numerous complaints so they reverted back to the original. GAP's clothing is a tad more understated but that is the appeal for many. Decades ago jeans were the reason many would flock to the nearest mall offering customized sizes and more variety; many clothing lines have taken a cue and offered more choices for denim realizing it is such a staple and consumers are willing to pay more for jeans. Again, with the 1990s being immersed in todays' fashion maybe there is hope that the GAP will one day be telling us what "everybody" will be in next season!