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Friday
Oct312014

Sofia Coppola Directs Latest Gap Campaign

She’s worked with celebrities such as Kirsten Dunst, Scarlett Johansson and Emma Watson, but the latest star to work with Sofia Coppola is Gap’s crazy stripes sweater.

Gap tapped the Hollywood director to create four stylish short films for the Christmas season. The pieces, part of the “Dress Normal” campaign, explore what the holidays look like in homes across the U.S.

Highlighted among the crooning kids and pinball masters are key products, such as Fair Isle sweaters and cool biker jackets.

And, of course, there’s that crazy stripe sweater, which gets its season debut in the film, “Gauntlet.” Set to Johnny Cash’s “I Got Stripes,” the 30-second piece shows a girl coming home for Thanksgiving to an endless line of relatives.

Another film, “Mistletoe,” documents an awkward rejection under that classic, romantic Christmas symbol. It’s meant to feel familiar, funny, and oh-so-Gap – a creative way to highlight how the holidays really feel for so many of us.

“Sofia has brilliantly translated Gap's snapshots of these authentic family characters to the screen,” said Seth Farbman, Gap’s global chief marketing officer.

“Even if you don't always get your family, our message this season is that it's easy to give them Gap."

See the films below:

Gauntlet

Mistletoe

Crooner

Pinball


Thursday
Oct302014

Selfie erases student loan debt 

Just a few weeks ago, Cathy Roebuck was struggling to find money for her wedding while dealing with a student loan debt. 

But on a whim, she entered Old Navy’s 20th Birthday #Selfiebration contest, where people tweeted selfies and a personal wish that could be granted by the brand. Cathy’s wish? “Help me pay off my student loans so I can pay for my wedding!”

Wish granted.

“I don’t win contests. I’m the person who goes into a casino, and I usually lose all our money, so this was just a real surprise,” she said.

Cathy was one of three winners chosen out of 14,000 entries. They were evaluated based on creativity, originality and quality of submission.

“I’m not one to take a lot of selfies, I just happened to have one that was from my engagement so I figured ‘Ah, people love engagements, I’ll tweet that one out,’” Cathy, an Ohio University graduate, said. “I really was not expecting anything to come of it until I got a message and I nearly had a heart attack at work.”

Her fiancé, Chris Mace, had a similar reaction.

“I called (Chris) when he was at work and I said ‘So, I just won $10,000,’” Cathy recalled. “And he was like, ‘Someone’s just going to cut us a check for 10 grand? And I said ‘No, it’s coming from Old Navy.

And now, thanks to Old Navy, she’s shifted from wedding woes to full planning mode.

“It does make a really big difference. It’s not a small amount of money for someone to randomly win,” she said. “I was just talking to my coworkers about how weddings are so expensive and it’s going to take forever to save up for. And then it was like, ‘Nevermind!’”

Thursday
Oct232014

Old Navy will open in the Middle East

Old Navy just announced that it will open in the Middle East – the brand’s next franchise move since expanding into the Philippines in March.

Next spring, we’ll open stores in Dubai, UAE; Kuwait City, Kuwait; and Doha, Qatar as well as Riyadh and Dammam in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with local franchise partners Azadea and Al Hokair.

To get more of an understanding of this big move, we chatted with Blair Dunn, General Manager Franchising & Mexico, Old Navy.

Q: So, how does Old Navy’s growth story fit into Gap Inc.’s growth story?

A: Old Navy launched in the U.S. in 1994 and Canada in 2001. But taking Old Navy beyond North America is a fairly recent phenomenon, beginning with Japan in 2012.

Franchising Old Navy provides us the opportunity to partner with excellent local business partners and open stores quickly, efficiently and economically.

For Gap Inc. to become the world’s favorite for American style, we need to be number one. To be number one we need to grow fast and grow strong. Old Navy is the ticket.

Q: Why the Middle East?

A: Opening in the Middle East after we successfully launched our Old Navy franchise business in the Philippines has always been the plan. 

The region is super attractive to us - highly developed economies and a large base of middle-income customers. Plus, shopping as a family is huge in Middle East, which plays perfectly to Old Navy’s brand proposition. Laws require a local partner to operate businesses there so this is a natural franchise fit for us. 

Q: What does the future of Old Navy in the Middle East look like, and what are you most excited about?

A: Seeing the Old Navy experience fully realized in all these different markets is incredibly rewarding and exciting for us, especially in the Middle East, where things are so different. It’s been a great learning experience for everyone involved.

It’s a challenge, for sure, but providing the Old Navy experience to customers in a way that is culturally relevant to them around the world is a beautiful thing.

Monday
Oct202014

Imagine your holiday with new GapKids collection

Your holiday road trip awaits – complete with some charming looks for the kids.

On Oct. 30, Gap launches kate spade new york & Jack Spade for GapKids, a limited edition kids and toddlers apparel and accessories collection for Holiday 2014.

The collection is inspired by classic kate spade new york and Jack Spade looks, infused with a child’s carefree sense of adventure. The marketing follows a brother and sister on an imaginary, magical journey to grandma’s house for the holidays.

“Collaborating with iconic American brands such as kate spade new york and Jack Spade is a way of bringing style and optimism to the GapKids customer,” said Rebekka Bay, creative director and EVP, Gap Global Design.

The collection has everything to find the perfect gift for every kid – from flare dresses and graphic sweatshirts (“Skirt the Rules,” reads one), to button down tops with the kate spade new york signature bow print. Mittens, hats and other accessories feature whimsical graphics, paying tribute to the fun and quirky nature of the Spade brands. (Who doesn’t love kids’ product with googly eyes?)

See some of the looks from the collection below. The kate spade new york & Jack Spade for GapKids collections launches in select Gap stores in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Hong Kong and Japan and on gap.com on Oct. 30. 

Friday
Oct172014

My 25 years with Gap Canada

In celebration of Gap Canada’s 25th anniversary, we talked to longtime store manager Raina Stein, who has been with the brand since it first headed north. 

In 1989, Raina Stein was studying at York University to become a French teacher, but her plans soon shifted when she was hired at Gap. Fondly looking back now, she says there’s no doubt her switch to a retail career is directly linked to the brand’s launch in Canada 25 years ago.

“If you got into Gap, it was like ‘Retail University.’ Everyone respected the infrastructure. It was a proud moment when I started,” says Stein, now an assistant customer experience manager at Gap Bloor St. in Toronto.

As Raina tells it, it’s been quite the 25 years.

There was the in-store proposal from a persistent admirer in 1994. There was her sister’s 2000 wedding where she wore a Gap cotton shirt – Raina’s nod to Sharon Stone’s buzzworthy red carpet maneuver. There were the times she dyed Gap white limited edition pieces black – her favourite colour.

But Raina credits Gap’s ability to evolve as one of the main reasons she’s remained with the company.

“Gap has always been innovative and continues to evolve which is what I love about it,” she said. “The core values of the company have not changed. They care about their people and empower their leaders.”

And it’s Raina’s passion that Gap seems to love just as much about her. In this day and age where followers and likes are virtual gold, the loyalty Raina’s customers have to her attests to her charismatic persona that keeps people coming back.

On any given day, you can find her with a pair of skinny jeans draped over her shoulder, dressing some of the same people she first connected with in 1989. The difference now is she’s styling their children and grandchildren too.

“Gap is right on trend and we know what we’re doing,” she says like a proud aunt. “The fabrics are amazing but at the same time we’re getting back to where we came from and people love it.”