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Gap Inc. 45th Birthday: From co-workers to family

Gap is turning 45 this month, and it wouldn’t be a birthday if we didn’t take the opportunity to look back, to take stock.

So, we asked employees to share moments from our history that most stick out most in their minds, moments that represent our business, and the people who work here.

Here’s one such story.

When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Patti D’Amico was the Banana Republic district manager there.

Almost all of her employees were forced to evacuate, and all five of the area stores were severely damaged, and shut down. Her own house flooded, and yet she chose to go to work every day.

“Gap Inc. employees worked around the clock to help me find everyone on my team,” said Patti, a 27-year Gap Inc. veteran who now recruits for Athleta.

“And then they helped (displaced) employees find a home within other stores that hadn’t been hit. Gap Inc., to me, is the people throughout the country who opened their arms and said, ‘How can we help? What can we do?’” 

As the district team struggled to reopen stores, still more people came to help. And then Gap Foundation volunteer teams rebuilt homes in neighborhoods hit the hardest.

“This is the Gap that I love – the people and the culture that Don and Doris have created that inspires us all to do what is right. I am exceptionally proud to be spending my career here.”


Defeating that back-to-school self doubt

It’s back-to-school, and students everywhere are starting anew, hoping to make new friends while balancing classes and trying not to spill pudding on their pants during that first cafeteria lunch.

Bottom line: All of it can be scary, and it’s easy to let that self-doubt creep in.

But Old Navy is inspiring kids to be strong with its musical anthem, “Unlimited,” which encourages students to be confident, to reach for their dreams.
The back-to-school heroine Isabelle defeats her inner nemesis, the Womp Womp, which represents her nagging self-doubt.

The song was penned by Tony-nominated songwriters Benji Pasek & Justin Paul (A Christmas Story, The Musical; James and the Giant Peach, The Musical; and NBC's Smash), and the Womp Womp creature was designed by Legacy Effects, the people behind Iron Man, Captain America and The Muppets.

The idea is to entertain and engage kids on the platforms where they are naturally consuming content.

While you watch, try to spot cameos by YouTube stars, and then check out their social accounts - they’re also talking about confidence (and beating their own naysaying Womp Womps). An easy way to find the conversation is to search for #BeUnlimited. Or, go to Old Navy's YouTube channel.
Net proceeds from downloads of the song on iTunes will support the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and creating opportunities for kids there to fulfill their unlimited potential.

For 15 years, Old Navy has supported Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and has a donation drive in stores to match customer donations up to $500,000, bringing the potential total donation to $1 million. 


Banana Republic’s 360 lifestyle

Trendy sweat pants during the work week? Love it. Have been waiting for it. Don’t ever want it to go out of style.

Even more awesome is that this comes from Banana Republic, known more for office-ready polish. The new chic sweat pant is part of Banana Republic’s new campaign, “The New Look of Banana Republic,” which debuted in stores and online this week. The look is bolder, more unpredictable. And when we say new, we really mean new.

"My goal was showing you can wear a blazer on a weekend or a sweat pant during the week," Marissa Webb, Banana Republic’s creative director and executive vice president of design, told the Wall Street Journal.

This is the brand’s first campaign styled by Marissa, who describes it as the ultimate in hi-lo fashion. You can buy the clothes now, and come September, you’ll start seeing print ads featuring singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc and his wife, recording artist and songwriter Maya Jupiter.

It’s not just about work anymore, but a “360 lifestyle.” #ThenewBR is here, and is the shape of things to come.

Also, check out this Los Angeles Times article on Roland Mouret’s much-anticipated capsule collection, which also debuted this week.


Happy 45th Birthday, Gap Inc.

It was 1969, the year of Woodstock. Richard Nixon was inaugurated as President of the United States. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. People were bell-bottomed, beehived and looking for something new.

And in a corner of San Francisco, Doris and Don Fisher were opening a single store stocked with Levi’s, records and tapes – a place that was all about youth and inclusivity.

Gap Inc. now has more than 3,500 stores and 134,000 employees worldwide, and creative omni-channel endeavors like Reserve in Store to fuel future business.

But the values – The Fishers’ dedication to community, equality and creating opportunities around the world – remain the same.

We are excited to celebrate this birthday because it’s a chance to look ahead, to the next 45 years, but also an opportunity to reflect.

Emily Daniello started as a Gap store associate at 16. Twenty four years later, she is working as a Banana Republic marketer. This story is a common one.

“I finished college to be a teacher, but then I didn’t want to leave. Why would I leave?” she said. “I stayed because I am fulfilled. I have Gap Foundation to do my volunteering, I have my whole circle of friends at Gap Inc., and I even met my husband at the company. I feel empowered to do a great job, and I feel cared about.”

On Instagram, see more of our employees sharing their favorite Gap moments, large and small, paired with #since1969contest.


Gap rolls into Rio De Janeiro

Time to break out the Caipirinhas—Gap has landed in Rio De Janeiro.

Last week, tens of thousands of people hit Gap’s newest location in the country’s second largest city. Hot on the heels of last September’s store opening in Sao Paolo, Gap Rio De Janeiro is the fifth store for the country.

The buzz was building long before the ribbon was cut.

And when it came time to taking the scissors to the trim, we put them in the hands of popular Brazilian soap star Carolina Dieckmann, which really drew the crowds!

Gap is just getting started in Brazil. By the end of the year, we’ll have 10 stores across six cities. It’s all part of our global franchise plan that includes new Gap stores coming to Slovenia in August and Austria in October. Stay tuned!