aDressed

The official blog of Gap Inc.

San Francisco Intermix store designed as a ‘jewel box’ by the bay

ExperienceLiz NunanComment

Intermix President Jyothi Rao in the brand's new San Francisco store.

Located in the heart of San Francisco's Fillmore district, Intermix's newest store boasts an edited selection that is perfectly suited for the tech executives, plugged-in international tourists and Pacific Heights fashionistas living and working in the city by the bay.

Described a “beautiful jewel box," the store at 2223 Fillmore St. was thoughtfully designed to capture the unique vibe of this San Francisco district. Examples include original art from local artist Kelly Ording, who drew directly on the walls to create an elevated, linear design unifying the clean lines of the space. The team also designed with efficiency in mind: There is no cash register, which leaves more room for beautiful product and a seamless mobile shopping experience.

A mix of classic elegance with technological advancements, this new store is the perfect fit for Bay Area shoppers and for Intermix.

Read more about how Intermix is experimenting with and evolving the physical storefront through its Retail Lab.

See Gap Inc. through the times via GIFs

ExperienceGap Inc. blogsComment

Don and Doris Fisher started Gap in 1969 with the idea of bridging the “generation gap," and now, 47 years later, the company has five brands that provide modern, stylish clothing for people of all ages.

This #TBT, we're looking across the years at some of our favorite pieces of Gap Inc. history (in GIF form, naturally):

10 years of This Way Ahead

ExperienceCarlee Gomes, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Do you remember your first job? And the pride you felt when you received your first paycheck?

A first job is not just a milestone — for many teens and young adults, it can be life changing. 

INTERMIX Retail Lab connects customers with the runway

ExperienceTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

It used to be, if you wanted to know the identity of the most up-and-coming designer in the fashion industry, you needed access to a New York Fashion Week presentation or a whispered heads-up from a powerful person in the know.

That whisper still exists — for now — in the form of a shop. INTERMIX recently opened the doors to its first concept shop in the Meatpacking District of New York City. 

Gap design team partners with Pendleton on limited-edition plaid collection

FashionErika Lawson, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Denim and plaid: two American classics, great on their own – even better together. Which is why the Gap’s latest collaboration with Pendleton Woolen Mills makes perfect sense (especially with cold weather dressing upon us).

Buy Now, at Fashion Week: See how the BR team creates a seamless shopping experience at NYFW

ExperienceTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Design is in the details. And it takes obsession with detail to breathe life into that irresistible piece of clothing. These are the people behind the scenes at Gap Inc. — the dedicated professionals who push themselves every day to create clothing that resonates with the finesse of their trade. Get to know these heroes of their craft.

For a spacious room filled with a number of people, it's startlingly quiet. All you can hear is the hum of the lights above, and, if you listen carefully, the staccato of New York City cab horns careening through the Chelsea streets outside, where a crowd of people are waiting to enter.

A wide, brightly lit floor houses platforms where fashion models stand in groups, getting the final touches to their looks. Stylists, like sculptors taking one last chip at the marble, pinch and twist pant cuffs. They adjust grips on handbags, and tucks into belts. They then stand back to critique and admire their work.

Moments later, the doors open. The crowd spills in. Music, up. Cameras, snap. Photographers crouch with their cameras to get close-ups of shoes; they stand back to get head-to-toe looks. More people — influencers, bloggers, editors, social media stars — file into the room. iPhones are out and on, clicking and uploading and tagging and liking.

And — significantly — buying.

This is the Banana Republic presentation at New York Fashion Week.

For the fourth time in the brand's history, Banana Republic hosted media, influencers and the like to preview the Spring 2017 collection as part of NYFW. While many brands showed during the bi-annual event, the BR presentation allowed attendees to shop select looks — a grey lace off-the-shoulder top, say, or a skirt with a laser-cut eyelet design — and have it in their online shopping bags before even leaving the presentation.

This is the second year Banana Republic has incorporated its Buy Now feature at Fashion Week — producing an experience where customers can see a product from the presentation and put in their online shopping cart within minutes.

"The immediacy that customers want today is a growing trend within the fashion industry, and it's not going away," says Royce Gordon, a member of BR's public relations team that hosts the presentation. "Buy Now is our answer to that — where a person can, at a realistic price point, see a good, quality piece, purchase it for fall to wear ahead of season, and get a second season wear out of it in spring."

When Banana Republic first offered Buy Now in February 2016, there were six pieces available online. This time, there are 15 — a tribute to the responsiveness of the team to meet customer and industry demand.

"Buy Now brings the New York Fashion Week experience to our customer's closet at the speed of lightning," says Johana Ozuna, who heads up production for Banana Republic from the New York City office. "We want to meet that customer's need for immediacy. We create tight timelines and make sure we're producing high-quality, beautiful pieces that can hit the presentation and the site and store simultaneously."

In order to do this, Johana and her team work directly with mills (the businesses that create the fabric) and vendors (the businesses that sew the garments) to create timetables and production plans. Whereas production for most pieces typically occurs after a NYFW presentation (all of the other looks will be available in spring 2017), these 15 pieces were developed and produced in line with one another.

That means, in a word, speed.

"There's a shift in the way we work in order to help make this happen," Johana says. "There's speed in the way we communicate with one another and speed in how decisions are made."

That means making sure the team in place is a seasoned, well-skilled one that understands the nuances and processes of getting products to store. The team also goes through exercises that are counter to the typical way of working. For example, making a decision for color based off of chips and cutouts versus exact fabric samples, which takes extra time to obtain. Or, whereas typical collections usually have the benefit of time to get insight from multiple team members and multiple levels, cutting the decision-making process down to three key people — say, representatives from design, vendor relations and inventory management — to ensure one minute is not lost in waiting to deliver the final product.

"Trust is a big word for us here," Johana says. "In this case, we as a team have to ensure that there is trust and accountability for the whole cross-functional team."

What that means is level-setting expectations at the beginning across the team, and stating the goal in mind. And, ensuring people feel that they, as the decision maker, are capable of carving out a path forward and driving the business.

That responsiveness is what drives the entire NYFW experience — even customers speeding to get the looks they love.

"Our entire shopping experience is meant to re-create the elevated feel of New York Fashion Week," says Jen Matic, senior director of marketing creative. "We produced the brand's first shoppable video — so that you can see a look, click and buy it — that was shot during a pre-shoot and executed right away."

"Everything about Buy Now is to give the customer exactly that — an experience of 'now.'"

This includes putting some of the pieces into the Banana Republic Flatiron flagship store for purchase on the afternoon of the presentation. Attendees (or followers online) who were so excited about a particular piece could leave the Fashion Week venue for the Flatiron store, purchase one of the 15 Buy Now pieces and wear it to dinner that night — all while NYFW shows are still underway.

Having the NYFW product also live in a brick-and-mortar space — along with its online presence — is something that Johana says will provide customers with a tactical, direct contact with the NYFW experience. This is invaluable, given the direction of the industry.

"What started as a crazy idea a few months ago is now an industry phenomenon," Johana says. "And now anyone can see a look on their phone, pick up the product in store and wear it out that night. We want to make those crazy ideas a not-so-crazy reality."

Check out Banana Republic's full New York Fashion Week collection and the inspiration behind it, and shop Spring 2017 now at BananaRepublic.com.

See the looks from Banana Republic’s NY Fashion Week Presentation

FashionTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

For Banana Republic's Spring 2017 collection, recently previewed at New York Fashion Week, the design team took inspiration from the traditional craft and modern technique of design and color in India.

That means bold hues, elaborately draped fabrics and laser-cut features that bring intricate tile work to mind. Subtle hits of print and pattern were also on display at Cedar Lake in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, as editors and influencers reviewed the looks, snapped photos and share on social media.

Also featured this season — an amplification of Banana Republic's see-now-buy-now experience, with curated selections by global style ambassador, Olivia Palermo, where customers can see a look from the Spring 2017 presentation and put it right into their online shopping cart. (There is also a shop-in-shop at the brand's Flatiron store in NYC while supplies last.)

A colorful spring has never sprung so soon.

Go behind the looks at NY Fashion week, and meet the BR team who made it all happen.

Sculpted + strong: Team Athleta innovates with fit and fabric

TalentKelly Flanagan and Brooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggersComment

Beautiful. Supported. Sculpted. Strong.

This is what it feels like to wear Athleta's latest breakthrough: Sculptek. Delivering this experience for women athletes was the inspiration for the team who brought Sculptek to life.

Kate Middleton Shines in Gap Pants

FashionTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

What adds a jolt of sunshine to a rainy day of travel? Patterned pants.

At least that's what fashion icon Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, seems to think. She recently appeared wearing Gap Bi-stretch Skinny Ankle Pants to a public appearance at a UK "undercover rainforest", after a trip to the Isles of Sicily was postponed due to weather. (It's clear she was still channeling those Mediterranean vibes with the pattern choice here.) 

The mid-rise pants (with a similar U.S. version available here) are not the first time that the Duchess of Cambridge has worn a Gap Inc. brand to a public appearance. Earlier this year, Kate Middleton wore a printed Banana Republic skirt and swoons ensued.

See how HRH the Duchess of Cambridge styled the pattern-happy pants below:

Want to see where these pants got their start? Go "behind the seams" of Gap's summer collection and see the inspiration, the color stories, and the global team behind these printed pants, and more.

Meet the winners of the 2016 Gap Casting Call

ExperienceCarlee Gomes, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Hold onto your overalls, the Gap Casting Call winners have been announced! 

Here’s a selection of your global winners from Japan, Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and France:

Earlier this year, Gap launched its annual Casting Call, a global competition calling on kids everywhere to show who they were born to be and enter to win. 

The Gap Casting Call is designed to showcase kids being kids — unique, optimistic and ready to take on the world. Lucky winners are featured in a special campaign coming this October for GapKids and babyGap, where they get to express their individuality and and have fun being exactly who they want to be.

Submissions came from all over the world — from Japan, Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Ireland, and France — with personalities and faces as unique as can be. 

The winners have been announced, and we can’t wait for the big reveal come October. 

Until then, find out what makes these kids unique and meet them all here.

Back to confident: Kids pick up new clothes from St. Anthony's x Old Navy

ExperienceTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Walk through the doors of St. Anthony's clothing shop in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, and you'll see a typical apparel store. Bright clothing adorns racks in an array of color and pattern. Shoppers and their kids strum through shirts, pants and shoes — choosing items with a mix of excitement and precision. These pants for school. This shirt for basketball practice. They try them on in fitting rooms, and take home their favorite pieces.

Stay a little longer, though, and you'll see that this store isn't so typical. Customers are referred to as "guests." Many of the shoppers are known by their first names.

Oh, and there is no cash register.

Located in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, St. Anthony's provides critical life services to those in need. The non-profit was originally founded as a dining hall in 1950, when Franciscan friars recognized the need for a community eating space after seeing people devouring scraps on sidewalk curbs. Today, the non-profit has evolved to include a health clinic, a residential addiction recovery program, a tech lab where guests can learn new job skills, and even a program that provides free clothing.

"We can all relate to what it's like to have a fresh set of clothes on," said David Watterson, who manages the free clothing program at St. Anthony's. "There's a mental, psychic transformation that happens when you walk out of a store with new clothing. There's a boost of confidence, and we believe that if people feel good, they will have the opportunity to do good and do well."

Visitors at St. Anthony's — referred to as "guests" as part of a Franciscan tradition to welcome people into your home — are all from low-income backgrounds. From there, though, they represent a group varied in age, race, religion, language, ability, orientation and just about any other way to define diversity. The program is open to anyone who decides they need this service.

A number of the guests also include families of parents and children.

"One of our biggest days of the year is our back-to-school shopping event, where parents bring their kids in to get backpacks with school supplies and clothes for the new school year," Watterson said. "We all know what it's like to show up in the cafeteria on the first day of school, trying to find new friends and trying to fit in. We want to offer kids the confidence that comes with new clothes and being able to stay in step with their peers."

"We also want to help fill in the gap for low-income parents struggling on their own," Watterson continued. "It costs $700 to clothe a child for a year. If you have three kids, that's more than $2,000. That's a lot of money, and a need that we can help people meet."

At this year's back-to-school event, the excitement is palpable. Kids rush up to racks, flipping through until they stop — their smiles wide — on a chosen garment. "Mom, look at this one!" Volunteers act as personal stylists, making sure the fit, material, color and every little detail is just right.

A number of the pieces in the store are new Old Navy clothes, donated by Gap Inc. from the brand's clothing samples. Each week, the Old Navy team packages up anywhere between 50 and 100 boxes — with anywhere between 100 and 150 clothing items in them — to fill the racks at St. Anthony's.

The partnership is hardly new. (In fact, it's hard to pin down how long ago it began. Trying to find the genesis of the partnership is a scavenger hunt — perhaps this person will know? Well, it's been going on longer than she's been here, so that's definitely more than 15 years. Was it back in the '90s? No, it definitely went further back than that. Let's ask Dolores.)

Regardless of when it started, the St. Anthony's donation truck still pulls up to Old Navy's headquarters in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood at least once a month. It's packed with the season's products, ready to be shipped and stocked for neighbors a few blocks away, who will start chapters of their lives — whether big or small — in the clothes.

"This past April a guest came in — she's a single mother, confined to a wheelchair — and brought in her daughter who had acceptance letters to 17 top universities," Watterson said. "The daughter accepted a scholarship to Harvard for low-income students, and was here to find clothes for her freshman orientation in Cambridge the next week."

"This person is about to embark on this huge journey — meeting with professors, administrators, and other students," Watterson said. "And she is choosing to present herself in these clothes. It speaks volumes that she can begin her new life with confidence and present her best self in new clothes."

Introducing the Faces of Old Navy

TalentGap Inc. blogsComment

Back in March, Old Navy launched the "Faces of Old Navy" – a series on the brand's social channels that highlights amazing talent and personalities.

Below are some of the most recent Old Navy employees who have been spotlighted. Be sure to follow Old Navy on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter for the latest peek behind the curtains.

People Power: How Gap Inc. makes retail magic

TalentKirsten Berg, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

You ask your friends for restaurant recommendations. You ask your friends about the movie they just saw. So why wouldn't you ask your friends about where they work?

Hear fashion industry pros talk about the passions that drive their Gap Inc. careers, and the ways in which they've been able to impact one of the world's largest fashion companies, in a new video series.

Behind-the-Scenes with Gap and Banana Republic: Summer 2016

ExperienceKelly Flanagan and Brooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggersComment

Behind every pair of jeans, there's a team of designers, merchants, production, tech designers, sourcing, and vendors who come together to pore over every detail. Each shirt or sweater travels through multiple iterations of seams, trims, fits and sometimes even fabrics before the product's transformation is complete, and it is readied to appear in stores before it transitions to your closet.

Pinnable personal style, from Banana Republic

ExperienceErika Lawson, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

We've all been there: you see an item on the mannequin at the store, you like, it, you want it, you buy it. But when it's time to don your new duds, you're left staring blankly at your closet.

Luckily, we live in an age where an infinite amount of styling inspiration is at our fingertips, thanks to photo-friendly platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. And some of the best style inspo comes from the brands that stock our closets.

Dive into the Olympic spirit with Old Navy

ExperienceTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

On Aug. 5, the Olympic Torch will be lit in Rio, marking the start of the Olympic Games. Thousands of athletes will gather to show the best-of-the-best in sport.

Back in the U.S., thousands of fans will be showing their support for Team USA with the best-of-the-best fashion options from Old Navy. 

Banana Republic’s Holiday 2016 sneak preview

FashionErika Lawson, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

A sneak preview of Banana Republic's 2016 Holiday fashions are out — and they definitely are not cold. 

Gap’s 10-year (RED) anniversary: How a shirt can change the world

Experience, FashionGap Inc. blogsComment

Over the last decade, it's likely that you've seen (RED).

It may have been a billboard on the highway. Or, perhaps an ad in a magazine. Your friend may have even bought a tee shirt that said “INSPI(RED)". Whichever the avenue, you've likely been touched by the campaign whose mission is to end AIDS in Africa. 

Better Cotton, better environment, better business

ExperienceBrooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Cotton is in our clothes, our bedsheets, our towels, our books, our coffee filters — even in our paper currency. Right now, you're probably wearing at least two items made of cotton.

Doris and Don Fisher opened the first Gap store in 1969 with a simple idea: to make it easier to find a pair of jeans. Gap Inc.'s denim offerings, past and present, are largely crafted from cotton. So are the shirts, dresses and other cotton-based staples currently available across GapBanana Republic and Old Navy. Sixty percent of the fabric Gap Inc. uses is cotton.

This year, Gap Inc. joined the Better Cotton Initiative, which works with farmers around the world to improve cotton production for the people who produce it, the environment, and the cotton sector's future. Some of that work involves minimizing the use and impact of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and caring for water, soil and natural habitats.

In the first half of 2016, Gap Inc. sourced 441,000 pounds of Better Cotton — enough to make 250,000 pairs of jeans — and plans to continue to increase sourcing of Better Cotton in the future.

While Gap Inc. has used organic cotton for many years in some products, with Better Cotton, Gap Inc. has the opportunity to make a strong impact on the global cotton industry, and help ensure more widespread access to a responsible sourcing option for cotton.

Water scarcity continues to be a global issue. As farmers adopt the Better Cotton growing standard, they learn techniques that use less water, more efficiently. Based on 2013 figures, Better Cotton farmers used 14-23 percent less water than those farmers not using BCI principles. Meanwhile, profits were 14-44 percent higher. In addition to better yields, Better Cotton farmers are reported to have greater financial security through access to global markets.

For generations, cotton has been a standard fiber for clothing — whether on its own or in fabric blends — because of its versatility and ability to breathe. In everyday terms: It's easy to wash and care for; and it keeps its shape and doesn't cling to the body. Cotton is also hypoallergenic, so it doesn't irritate sensitive skin or fuel allergies.

Visit gapinc.com/sustainability to see how Gap Inc. is striving to ensure that the process of making our clothes is safe for people and communities, and how the company is working directly with women to help them gain access to clean, safe water.

Go behind the scenes with Banana Republic Summer 2016

TalentBrooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Walk into any Banana Republic, and you'll find a variety of timeless classics, unique prints, beautiful embellishments and flattering fits. But these polished pieces didn't all start out that way.