The 90’s are alive and thriving at Gap right now. If you’re tired of scavenging for the perfect pair of vintage jeans at your local Goodwill, or don’t have the patience to sort through every unfortunate 70’s polyester blend shirt, fret no longer! Last week, the classic American brand released its 90’s Archive Re-Issue Collection, reviving all of your moms and dads’ beloved staples from back in the day. Reminiscent of their retro black and white ads, which featured the likes of Spike Lee, Miles Davis and Salvador Dali, the Gap’s newest campaign is heavily inspired by its old aesthetic, with an eclectic cast of new Hollywood influencers providing a modern twist.
In an attempt to return Gap to its former glory, the brand is channeling a time when rent prices were lower and pant waists were higher. The 90’s were arguably a peak for the Gap. Business was booming, Gap logo sweatshirts were all the rage and khaki-wearing yuppies felt like they could take on the world. As the 90’s came to an end and the 2000’s were ushered in, the Gap saw a noticeable decline. Gap soon became known as the whitest mom store in your local mall. It also didn’t help that, like the best of us, Gap fell victim to the curse of 2016 and was heavily criticized after releasing a controversial kid’s ad that social media quickly deemed racist.
But now the classic-cool Gap everybody once knew and loved is back and better than ever! The retailer is playing up its reputation as the mom store, because these days, what Millennial doesn’t want to dress like their mom in the 90’s? The ads for the limited-edition collection have dubbed this era “Generation Gap,” and star some of the genetically blessed offspring of former Gap models, led by the fearless and flawless OG supermodel, Naomi Campbell. Some of the fresh-faced campaign spokesmodels also include Diana Ross’ son Evan Ross, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s daughter Rumer Willis, Mick Jagger’s daughter Lizzy Jagger and Chelsea Tyler, daughter of Steven Tyler who starred in his own Gap ad in 1999.
The collection includes a range of bodysuits, khakis, tees, and of course, an array of denim that will allow you to achieve full 90’s swagger. Some of our faves include the 10-button tee, cropped hoodie, and reverse-fit jeans. In trying to rebuild its brand as a vintage haven, the question remains of whether or not the Gap’s target cool-kid anti-establishment shoppers will be abandoning real deal thrift and second-hand stores in favor of glossy, vanilla malls. Not to mention, there is still stiff competition from retailers like Urban Outfitters and Zara who have been dominating the modern-day retro clothing market. It’ll be interesting to see what else the Gap has in store for us and where they’ll be taking their future creative direction. If this collection is any indication, looking to the past could be the key to where the brand will be in the future.