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GAP is a brand that everyone knows. With a simple logo and a relaxed attitude to casual wear, this brand is loved by millions worldwide. But, are they still relevant today?
We’re taking a closer look at GAP to see if they still hold up as a reliable brand today. You can still find their clothes online and in stores, plus their vintage pieces are dominating resale sites too. Keep on reading to explore more about this all-American brand.
Gap has always been known as the brand where you can buy everything. From well-made basics to statement hoodies, 90s teens could dress well for an affordable price too! But, where did this brand start?
In 1969 this clothing store opened its first shop in San Francisco, however, its store looked very different from what we see today.
In 1969 the San Francisco location only offered record tapes and men’s Levi jeans. It was only in 1974 that Gap-label products started to appear in their stores.
By the 1980s the brand was thriving and even large enough to purchase the brand Banana Republic too. The company also started to branch out from the U.S. in this decade too. In 1985, we saw Michael J. Fox wearing a Gap shirt in the film Back To The Future, cementing the brand as cool.
In the 1990s Gap was increasingly popular. With supermodels wearing Gap on Vogue’s 100th magazine everyone needed to own something from the retailer. Their stock prices shot up and they also opened Old Navy stores too.
Though Gap has had a lot of success over the past decades, the brand doesn’t carry the same “cool” associations as it used to. Unfortunately, due to the rise of fast fashion and internet brands, other retailers have been able to undercut Gap’s prices (which are still pretty low).
They’re offering more on-trend clothes, rather than basics, allowing Gen Z to embrace catwalk trends for a low cost. Gap stores are still making enough profit to survive, however, their popularity is mostly on second-hand stores as vintage fashion lovers try to get original Gap hoodies from the 90s.
Unlike large fashion houses, Gap isn’t a high-end brand. Gap sits at the mid-market levels and is found in most malls or shopping centers worldwide.
Their prices are affordable, however, they do offer good quality – better than online fast-fashion websites anyway. Banana Republic (one of Gap’s brands) is a more luxury option as it focuses on detailed craftsmanship and good materials, however, this brand isn’t high-end either.
Similar to other classic American brands, Gap is known for its well-made basics and contemporary casual clothes. With clothes that suit all options for every occasion, this store ignores bold prints or shiny details and focuses on good quality garments.
Here are some of their most popular items.
Perhaps one of their most popular designs, the logo hoodie is great for any occasion. Available in a range of styles and colors, this is a classic Gap piece and shows their recognizable logo too.
Though plain t-shirts may be seen as boring, they’re a staple for all wardrobes. Gap makes good quality t-shirts that don’t rip or break after a few uses, so we’d recommend shopping here next time you need a reliable tee. They are often made of cotton which is perfect for hot summer days.
Though a body mist isn’t the first product to come to mind when you think of Gap, this is one of their most popular sellers. Reviews state that the scent reminds them of being in high school, so the appeal of this product is potentially nostalgia for the days when Gap was popular!
Gap has worked with a range of celebrities over its time as a brand. Not only do these collaborations put the brand in the limelight, but it also shows that their quality is good too! One of their most famous associations was with President Obama, as the politician visited their Manhattan store to show them support when they raised their minimum wage in 2015.
Other celebrity endorsements include a 2003 commercial with Missy Elliot and Madonna, Sharon Stone wearing a Gap tee to the 1996 Oscars, and a 1993 campaign with celebrities like Gene Kelly and Ernest Hemingway in khaki pants.
Though it has had a range of campaigns over the past few years that involve social responsibility, Gap is still a fast-fashion retailer. Until the production is slowed down or brought to a smaller scale, the rate the brand is producing products isn’t sustainable – especially as they use a lot of dyes and synthetic fabrics too.
When it comes to ethical labor practices, Gap is “Not Good Enough” according to the Good On You Index. The brand isn’t too transparent about its production process, but we can see there is no evidence that payment of a living wage is ensured.
They also use wool, leather, and some exotic animal skins without giving sources which means the safety of workers and animals can’t be seen. Lots of room for improvement here!
At the end of the day, GAP is a reliable brand that offers casual clothes that will last for a long time. While this brand doesn’t rush to follow trends, it’s admired because you know what you’re getting when you shop there.
The store needs to improve its labor and sustainability practices, however, Gap is a better option than other fast-fashion stores online. The brand may not be for everyone, but if you want some trustworthy pants or a tee, this is a brand to visit!
Do you like the GAP style? Let us know your thoughts on this classic brand.