Aside from the million and one things I seem to be juggling in a writing/home/husband/familyfriends/general life capacity at the moment, I am also a full time employee for Gap. For the last two and a bit years, this partnership has worked well for me, for many reasons. Reason #1 I love my job. Its physically (and sometimes, mentally) exhausting, and I cannot remember the last time I had a day where I actually completed the task I set out to do, but I get to wear jeans to work everyday, which is amazing. Reason#2 Despite the cliched judgement of Gap branded clothing, I am a real advocate of the effortless and classic aesthetic of the brand, and so I literally love the product. I’m also the lucky owner of a staff discount card, in return for spending 40+ hours of my week there, and this means that almost every single item of clothing I own is some variation of a grey t-shirt and skinny jeans. Reason #3 Gap never fails to surprise me.
As the original advert for the youth of America, The Gap (as it was originally known) started something which was pioneering and contemporary. The ‘Urban Outfitters of the late 1960s’, Gap was somewhere cool to hang out, pick up a record and a pair of Levi’s, and generally just be a cool Californian kid.
Fast forward almost fifty years, and Gap has taken on the role of ‘one-stop-shop’ for the entire family, with a few heritage items thrown in for good measure. (Hello, Gap logo hoodie-who hasn’t gratefully received one of these for their thirteenth birthday/been wearing one in a group photograph on Year 7 residential/ stolen their boyfriend’s and spilt nail polish down it.) Shopping at Gap means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but everyone has heard of it. Whether it is the familiarity of the classic knits and denim staples, or you find the product quality fits in well with your hectic and every changing lifestyle, Gap suits the need of millions of people worldwide. Yeah, I work there, so I’m obviously going to bang on about how on trend and inexplicably comfortable the products are, but I owe so much more to the brand.
Gap have managed to shift my perception of wearable fashion, from a notion I coveted from afar, to a movement which I have joined. My personal style has come on leaps and bounds in the two years that I have worked for the company (a point which I will prove in the form of photographic evidence) and this is also what has developed my taste for a career in fashion journalism.
Pre-Gap; too girly for words (although, that is a lemon and pink striped Gap skirt, which I still have!)
Post-Gap, head to toe.
Yes, to the naked eye, each Gap store is just a high street retail unit, housing Oxford shirts, khaki trousers, and a lot of wooden tables, but their consistent determination to move with the generations of consumers never fails to astound me.
On February 7th in the US, and a few days later here in the UK, Gap launched a small collection of reissue products from the archives of years gone by. Although there were four decades to chose from, with such a nostalgic following emerging across the street style generation, reissuing items for the nineties collection seemed like the right way to go. With such nineties icons as Demi Moore and Naomi Campbell endorsing the brand in times gone by, it seemed only right that this capsule collection be promoted by the children of such icons, or by the icon themselves.
Rumer Willis, Evan Ross, Chelsea Tyler and even Campbell herself make a guest appearance in the ad campaign, with a major throwback to previous successful media campaigns heralded by the brand.
Although this grungey and minimalist style of choice can feel a little tired and overly recycled at this stage, Gap were the original celebrators of effortless and androgynous style, and every single piece of this reclaimed collection would make such a well considered addition to your wardrobe. Admittedly, I have really struggled to commit to a handful of pieces (even with staff discount, and a tenacious shopping addiction, not even I can justify purchasing everything) I have managed to edit down to my top three items, so here we go.
The archive re-issue crop hoodie
Quite controversially (for me, anyway) this adorable cropped hoodie comes in grey, but I want it in red. I know, as the original queen of ‘does this come in grey?’, I have really surprised myself in this instance. And tomato sauce red, no less. Is this real life? I am just so drawn to this, for so many reasons. Firstly, the teeny tiny price, just £34.95, which-for a wardrobe staple- you really cannot go wrong. Secondly, this striking colour would compliment so many of the neutral colours I already wear, and would look so cool with oversized jeans, nipped in at the waist with a monogrammed belt, and styled with an edgy shoulder bag. Literally love this. Wish I’d purchased earlier and I could have really jumped on the ‘Let’s wear a really cute #valentinesday #ootd and instagram the heck out of it.’ I’m always late to the party.
The archive re-issue pleated fit pants
How amazing are these? And so versatile. Wear with chunky boots- as modelled by stunning, and super cute, model-or with your classic Vans/Adidas Gazelle/Reebok Club C (delete hipster trainer of choice, as appropriate) and you have half of a really on trend and super wearable look. As we move towards the warmer Spring weather, I’ll be pairing these with a logo tee, statement boots, and a neutral toned bomber jacket. As these are a cross between a pair of jeans and a chambray trouser, the price won’t break the bank, at just £44.95, which is something Gap customers feel at peace with-great quality, at an affordable price.
The archive re-issue logo crewneck
So far, so simple, which I was I am absolutely obsessed with this mens logo sweatshirt, which is only £39.95. Yes, it a mens item, but never limit yourself when it comes to high street retail, as men’s product can sometimes fit a little better, and the nineties trend is all about comfort, simplicity and pushing the boundaries. Whenever I wear an item of clothing from the menswear brand (which I do, a lot, especially when I’m running around like a mad person at work. Mens classic fit tees, the way to go, FWI.) I tend to balance out the masculine features and proportions with feminine styling. I would, therefore, wear this sweatshirt with a fitted, denim pencil skirt, ankle boots, and statement earrings. Or, alternatively, I would style this piece with matching grey sweatpants, an entire pack of Mint oreos, and an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
With these incredible and innovating (can you call a collection derived from an archive, innovating?) pieces now available online, and in selected London stores, I am so excited to see how it will perform in relation to previous offerings. With such a strong and influential heritage to support it, I am sure (and hopeful!) that the Gap Archive Re-Issue collection will be the first of many more in later seasons.