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Wednesday
May272015

Checkout: Little black dress

Take a look at some of our customers' favorites, available now.

Customer: Ashley Underwood, 37, from Burmingham, Ala.

Spotted at: Gap store #6206 Cesar's Palace Forum Shops, 3500 S. Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas NV

Favorite in-store item right now: Gap's black eyelet-stripe fit & flare dress. This cotton dress features eyelet stripes in a slim silhouette, paired with a flared skirt that rests above the knees with inverted pleating. Elbow-length sleeves and a rounded neckline refine the look.

What brought her in to shop: “I like the classic styles of Gap."

How she describes her style: Bold.

Where she gets inspiration for her own personal style: “In a bit of everything; celebrities. I feel like I have my own fashion sense, though."

Wednesday
May272015

Gap joins online powerhouse Zalando

Gap is now engaging with customers in 14 countries across Europe with one click! 

I’m proud to share the news that Gap has hit another milestone through a new partnership with Zalando this month.  Zalando is one of Europe’s most trafficked fashion sites with over 20 million users.

Gap now has a dedicated and branded space on the Zalando site in 14 markets; Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Norway and Luxembourg.  In addition to our own branded shop, Gap items will also be styled with other brands to showcase the endless possibilities of incorporating Gap into your wardrobe.

We partnered closely with Zalando to deliver a unique launch campaign shot in Berlin that integrated the best of what both Gap and Zalando have to offer.

A press event with Zalando was held at Alte Teppichfabrik, a very unique Berlin location – just a few steps away from the last remaining part of the Berlin Wall. Celebrities, rock stars, a famous DJ and a goodie station was set up, where guests were given denim jackets, gift vouchers and branded canvas totes. iPads were also on hand for guests to use their gift vouchers and shop right on the spot. 

As a result of the launch campaign and event, the buzz and excitement for Gap at Zalando keeps growing with loads of press and the social channels going wild with #GapxZalando.

We are excited about the potential of this partnership and are encouraged by the initial reaction….this is one step closer toward evolving with our customers and creating opportunities to reach them in new places.

Thursday
May212015

1970s-influenced accessories for summer 

Fashion is obsessed with the 1970s. For the past two seasons, the ultra-glam era has ruled the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. This summer, accessories are having a major moment — with statement pieces and luxury collections that could have worked for any night at Studio 54.
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Mini bags

References: Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Lanvin Spring/Summer 2015

Designers have been making a lot of money producing smaller or mini versions of some of their most popular bags. For the summer, a big seller is still the mini crossbody. While carrying a smaller bag isn't always practical, minis can be a stylish, lighter alternative — especially during the hotter months.

Key pieces: 1. Women's Faux-Leather Crossbody Bag (Old Navy); 2. Leather Crossbody (Gap); 3. Mini Zip Crossbody (Banana Republic)


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Wide-brim hats
 

References: Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff, Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2015

The boho-chic look prospered during the 1970s hippie movement, with wide-brim hats being used as statement pieces to push bohemian looks to the next level. In recent years, colorful headwear in exaggerated sizes has undergone a resurgence ever since Pharrell's infamous decision to sport a large, vintage Vivienne Westwood hat at the 2014 Grammy Awards. When searching for the right hat this season, pair larger, looser wide-brims with loose-fitting looks and casual styling — great for beach and poolside lounging. Alternatively, experiment with pairing a smaller, safari-style wide-brim with a more structured look.

Key pieces: 1. Women's Floppy Straw Sun Hat (Old Navy); 2. Wide Brim Felt Fedora (Athleta); 3. Tina Hat (Banana Republic)


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Mid-sized belts

References: Oscar de la Renta, Michael Kors, Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2015

Belting can be tricky. A good rule-of-thumb is to use belts to break up and add structure to dominant or loose-fitting pieces. Wide belts have the potential to overpower instead of complement, whereas thin belts may get lost in the look. The mid-sized belt — especially popular in the 1970s — is a comfortable compromise, as it works well on a variety of silhouettes.

Key pieces: 1. Distressed Leather Belt (Gap); 2. Women's Wide Buckle Belt (Old Navy); 3. Roller Buckle Leather Belt (Banana Republic)


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Strappy sandals

References: Alexander McQueen, FENDI, Opening Ceremony Spring/Summer 2015

The strappy sandal is a great warm-weather alternative to closed-toed pumps, as it lets the foot breathe on those especially hot days. And the strap's built-in wow-factor provides a chic alternative perfect for summer concerts, festivals, dates and beach trips. For a dressier look that can translate from a day in the office to nighttime fun, just add heels.

Key pieces: 1. Women's Crosscross Sandals (Old Navy); 2. Aniya Gladiator Sandal (Banana Republic); 3. Prelie Cased Sandal (Banana Republic)


 

Wednesday
May202015

A behind the scenes look at a stylish new Old Navy

The New York Times went behind the scenes with Old Navy at its San Francisco headquarters to discuss the brand's stylish rebirth, and the success that has come with it.

Global President Stefan Larsson; Jill Stanton, EVP Product Design and Dev Design Executive; and Ivan Wicksteed, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer spoke with the paper about the changing fashion industry and Old Navy's strategy for developing new product.

To read the article online, visit the New York Times here.

Friday
May152015

Gap Tech’s Gerda Hurter explores life beneath the waves

Welcome to “After Hours," a series showcasing the creative, passionate people that make Gap Inc. They are more than their titles; they are innovative individuals with awesome stories to share.

Although Gerda Hurter grew up loving the mountains, she is drawn to the depths of the ocean.

The Senior Business Analyst with Gap Tech is also bent on capturing those depths — and the abundance of marine life that inhabits them — with her camera. But her beautiful, colorful photos don't reveal the inherent difficulties of underwater photography.

As opposed to taking pictures on land, where a photographer is able to take the time to find the right photographic angle and adjust camera settings perfectly to the amount of daylight, underwater photography requires equal parts vigilance and improvisation — all while wearing restrictive scuba diving equipment.

“You are in a hostile environment, and you only might have one shot," she explained. “You don't want to touch anything — you never touch animals, never touch coral — but you need to be hovering. And there might be a current, so working against a current… You normally try to take three pictures, and once you have the three pictures, you know which light setting is the best, and then you do it again."

“It can be challenging. It's very often … OK, [mimes hovering, focusing] … Click! And then, pfft [mimes being swept away] — you're gone."

That challenge in capturing the perfect shot, in discovering and capturing a glimpse of widely unexplored marine life, adds to the draw of the ocean.

“It's almost like another universe," Gerda said. “It's just so vast, and we don't know much about it. Space and the ocean — we hardly know anything about them."

Gerda was persuaded to take her first steps into proverbial outer space by her husband, Pierre. While the pair were vacationing in Hawaii, he found an instructor with equipment, and persuaded her to try it with him. “It was never in the pool; it was right in the ocean. And I fell in love with it," she said. That was about 17 years ago.

Gerda and Pierre are now a part of San Francisco Reef Divers, where they are both officers. Once a month, the group will drive south from San Francisco to the Monterey Bay area — one of the richest ecological regions in California, host to a wide array of marine life.

“What's really fascinating to me is the diversity that you have down there. There's so much to see and there's so much little detail," Gerda said.

But this diversity of life was why, initially, she was hesitant to pick up the camera. “Someone handed me a camera four years ago and said, 'Hey, give it a try.' And I was like, 'No, there is so much going on; there is so much to see!'" she said, not wanting the camera lens to restrict her underwater experience of the ocean and its illusive endlessness. But her curiosity eventually won out. “I took my first photo and I was totally in love — totally hooked."

Part of what hooked Gerda was the photographic revelation of so much more detail than her eyes could process when floating underwater, trying to take in the entire ocean.

“Very often when I look at the pictures afterwards and zoom in, there's so much more in the pictures that I didn't even see. My eye probably saw it, but it did not register that, 'Oh, wait a minute, there's another shrimp here or there's something else there," she said. “I'm more drawn to the smaller, macro pieces than the bigger wide angles."

She uses a standard point-and-shoot camera — a Sony RX100 — to capture her underwater stills, with the important addition of a strobe light.

“Light becomes more important underwater because the deeper you go, the less colorful it becomes, because water filters out the light spectrum," Gerda explained. “So if you are at a certain depth, you need to make sure you do have the light so that you bring the color back in, otherwise you would not see it. Everything gets greenish-gray. Red is the first color that goes away, and a lot of things are red down there."

Gerda rarely edits her photographs post-production, instead relying on her subjects' natural colors to come through the lens. When, occasionally, her lighting fails to capture color, but she still sees something interesting to display within the frame, Gerda will either convert the photo to black and white or ramp up the contrast to transform the image into more of an abstract artwork.

There is so much to see — and, alternatively, so much to miss — that Gerda can become wholly absorbed in the camera lens.

“You become so enthralled in your look, that you do not necessarily pay attention to what's going on outside of your focus point," Gerda said. “I make a conscious effort to really make sure I know what's going on around me at the same time, because conditions can change very quickly. I don't want to get separated from my buddy and/or the group when we're diving within a group. Safety, for me, is the most important thing."

Her husband jokes that when they go diving together, he's actually solo diving next to Gerda. But in reality, they're a team — both for safety's sake, and in spotting photographic gold.

“We keep track of each other, and kind of sign to each other what's going on," she said. “He's good at pointing things out as well. But if I already took five photos of one particular nudibranch [underwater snail] and he keeps on pointing out the same species ... [she mimes signing OK] 'Oh yeah, great,' and pretend to take the photo." [Laughs]

But sometimes, for safety's sake, Gerda does have to let the perfect shot go. “Don't bother, because you're going to go into decompression; you're going to run out of air. There are just consequences that — it's not worth it," she said. “There will be other times."

This year, Gerda and Pierre will travel to Indonesia to dive and to see the Komodo dragons and the Philippines. And next year, they'll head to the Maldives. They usually plan out their vacations — always with a diving agenda — about two years ahead of time.

But Gerda's favorite place to dive thus far has been California. “It's just amazing what is here," she said.

The Galapagos and Alaska come in as close seconds. In Alaska, “everything is much bigger and more abundant. And there's no dive where you don't see a whale [from the boat]," she said. “There's so much top-side to see while we're on the boat — it's just like the Alps halfway underwater. It's just incredible."

Diving has given Gerda a connection to another world, and photography a means to share it — and even relive it. Through her photography, she can travel to another trip, to another time.

“If I look at a picture that I took three years ago, I know exactly what I was thinking at that moment. I know exactly what the conditions were. I know exactly what was right next to me. There's just something that makes a connection in my brain. It's amazing."