aDressed

The official blog of Gap Inc.

Mobile Checkout is coming to a store near you

ExperienceLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. bloggerComment
Mobile Checkout Gap Inc.jpg

Imagine walking into a Gap store and having an associate check the inventory for the item you want, open up a credit card, or sell you your new jeans….all without waiting in line.  Creating the right shopping experiences that customers love is something we’re thinking about every single day across our portfolio of brands, and these scenarios are becoming a reality for many Gap Inc. customers.  

Investing more in customer experiences and new innovations is a top priority for us. And, when we talk about innovation, we don’t just mean ecommerce and mobile experiences – we’re also talking about our stores. We’re thinking about how to bring to life new initiatives and conveniences that will be the most valuable for our customers.  

One of those initiatives is investing in mobile devices for our stores, which places a wealth of information right in the palms of our sales associates’ hands. In today’s earnings press release, we shared that mobile point of sale functionality was expanded to about 20 percent of the Gap Inc. U.S. fleet in fiscal year 2016. By equipping our sales associates with these devices, it fundamentally changes the interactions between our customers and our associates – with a swipe of the finger, associates can check on the availability of items, point shoppers to a nearby location if they don’t have exactly what they want in store, utilize Reserve in Store  and Order in Store, and more – this can all be done quickly so customers can get what they need and get on with their day.

These mobile devices are currently in around 2,000 stores across the country, and now over 450 stores can conduct mobile checkout transactions. This means shoppers at select U.S. Gap, Gap Factory, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory, Old Navy and every one of our 130 Athleta stores can look forward to quick transactions with no need to wait in line.

This investment will also change how we approach the design of our stores. In some locations, this could mean fewer registers with more space to shop. So far, the change to mobile checkout has been positively received by customers, and we’re excited to continue to roll out to more stores in 2017.

#WeAreGapInc: Meet Keith White

TalentGap Inc. blogsComment

More than the clothes we create, Gap Inc. is defined by its people. Our dedicated, eclectic, passionate culture is driven by pros, with personality. Say hello, get to know us, and take a closer look at what (and who) we're made of. Introducing our new weekly series, highlighting just some of the many people who make Gap Inc. great. #WeAreGapInc


If you were to combine the toughness of a sturdy pair of boots with the feeling you have when you catch up with an old friend over many smiles and laughs, you'd essentially have Keith White, Senior Vice President of Loss Prevention and Corporate Administration at Gap Inc., who is equal parts no nonsense and unendingly warm. We spent some time with Keith to talk about community, first jobs, epiphany moments, and the boots that got him through all four years of college.

What do you do for Gap Inc.?

I lead Loss Prevention and Corporate Administration.

What inspires you?

The opportunity to make a difference every single day!

Style personality:

Cool as the other side of the pillow.

Go-to outfit:

A pair of Gap straight fit jeans, my BR half zip Cashmere sweater and my brown or black leather blazer! Are you still doubting if I'm cool?

All-time favorite piece of clothing:

A pair of non-branded boots that I wore all four years in college. They saved me from the snow, ice and rain many a day. I retired them as soon as I could afford a new pair and they have a coveted, warm dry spot in my garage. They'll have a chapter in my book for sure, between each line of pain and glory…

Last purchase:

Kuna; it's a home security system built into an outdoor light that you can control from your phone. Did I mention I was in Loss Prevention?

Why do you volunteer?

I think volunteering has a connotation that it's extra, that it's not a part of your normal routine — it's what you do when you have extra time, extra energy. But for me, it's essential to share my gifts and talents with people and in places that wouldn't ordinarily have access to it.

What does community mean to you?

Everything! It's like oxygen, it can sustain and produce life when it's good, but it can do the exact opposite when it's bad.

What you've learned from customers:

You have to really love serving others or you're in the wrong business.

Favorite Gap Inc. moment:

Attending Don and Doris Fisher's 50th wedding anniversary in the 7th floor Cafeteria at 2 Folsom and it was wonderful!

First job:

Busboy.

Epiphany moment:

Realizing that you can never ever let anyone define how you feel about yourself!

Always puts you in a good mood:

Music and hanging out with my family. (They are so funny.)

Theme song:

"Aint No Stoppin' Us Now" by Mcfadden and Whitehead

Something people don't know about you:

I'm heavily involved in the Youth Ministry at my church.

Why would you encourage people to get involved in communities?

If life can be better for us all collectively, then it's maximized individually.

 

Athleta Stands with and for our planet

ExperienceCarlee Gomes, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

At Gap Inc. and our family of brands, we operate with the mindset of making a positive impact on the communities and the people that our business touches. That means we're focused on not only lessening the impact our business has on the environment, but also on helping people reach their full potential.

With programs like P.A.C.E. and This Way Ahead, and our climate change work with Low Carbon USA (just to name a few), we've put real time, resources, and energy into making a positive impact on people and the environment across our organization, and this year we're more focused than ever.

A strong example of this is Athleta kicking off 2017 by reinforcing its commitment to sustainability. In its catalog and a new sustainability destination on Athleta.com, the brand is sharing how it is lessening its impact on the environment — through choices such as using more organic cotton and recycled polyester; and how Athleta supports the people creating its apparel through participation in P.A.C.E. and the introduction of Athleta's first Fair Trade Certified™ apparel in partnership with Fair Trade USA.

“We all live in a world of limited resources. As a leader in the apparel industry we have a responsibility to think about the impact of our choices on our planet," says Athleta's President Nancy Green.

The partnership with Fair Trade USA exemplifies the brand's commitment to improving the lives of women — specifically the predominantly female factory workforce. For every Fair Trade Certified™ garment sold, Athleta pays an additional financial premium directly back to the people who made it who then collectively decide how to invest the premium to support their community.

And there's more to the story. The teams at Athleta are constantly thinking about how to be better for their customer and our planet, because, as Nancy puts it, “Athleta apparel is created for — and by — women who see the earth as their playground and want to protect it."

Learn more about Athleta's sustainability efforts here.

Spring pops: Fashion Week hits Banana Republic stores

ExperienceBrooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

For most of us, Fashion Week conjures images of fabulous street style outfits posed and primped, and cool, perfectly poised models gliding down a runway wearing beautiful clothes, with every detail ticked, tied, and tended to. But Fashion Week is changing. Runways are evolving and brands are bringing the latest fashions to life in ways where not only the fashion elite can participate, but everyone.

As Banana Republic heads into New York Fashion Week, some of the brand's most talented people are working feverishly behind the scenes to prepare. This Spring, that behind the scenes work involves bringing the collection to life in stores and online to find new ways to give customers access to the pieces they want, when they want, where they want.

As the next evolution of See Now, Buy Now, Banana Republic's Global Style Ambassador Olivia Palermo worked with the brand's teams to create a series of pop-up shops for customers to style themselves for Spring.

Jennifer Dulay, director of windows and in-store creative for BR, and Peter Alwast, senior manager of BR interior design, are two of the people working around the clock this season to bring the pop-up shops to life.

We asked Jennifer and Peter about how they create experiences for customers, what it's like to work with Olivia Palermo, and got a behind the scenes scoop on the finished pop-ups themselves — which they describe as "a juxtaposition of an eclectic, modern New York apartment curated with unique pieces of art and photography to showcase the beautiful product."

How do the BR pop-up shops tie into the NYFW experience?

Fashion Week brings so much energy, and Olivia has been so inspiring in the way she styles our product. Why not share this with our customers during Fashion Week? We think it is perfect timing.

Why a pop-up shop?

The pop up creates a sense of discovery for the customer, and allows her to gain a sense of Olivia's amazing eye for styling and how she takes a modern twist on some of our iconic classic pieces. You have confidence as a shopper that you are going to find that special piece to add to your wardrobe and your own personal style.

When you have such a beautiful unique space like this, as an example here in Soho, it is very different from the average retail space. Not only is the space intimate and beautiful, but the product is merchandised in a unique way, and mixed with items that may surprise you.

How did your team collaborate to bring this to life?

We just started with an inspiration board of Olivia's favorite things, and brought it together with our BR aesthetic.

The pop-up was inspired by Olivia's sense of style, her eclectic taste for art, vintage photography, with a little polished edge. The Banana Republic and third-party product was handpicked by Olivia herself, which makes it really special.

It was a natural partnership, as she has the love of the arts and fashion, which created the perfect collaboration for Banana Republic.

What's your favorite part of the shops?

Being able to transform a common retail space into something unexpected for our customers to experience.

The goal is to be able to have our customers experience the amazing partnership, and step into a shop that feels intimate, inviting, with a sense of curiosity.

What was the biggest challenge in bringing the experience to life?

Projects like this are always a challenge, especially as you get closer to final execution. What makes the difference is the amazing BR team that worked together to make this happen, as well as Olivia, who has been inspiring and wonderful to work with.

Visit one of the pop-up shops, featuring Olivia Palermo's picks for Spring 2017, at Banana Republic's SoHo store in New York, the Grant Street store in San Francisco or The Grove store in Los Angeles February 9 through March. The SoHo store will live year-round, and be refreshed seasonally with new picks from Olivia Palermo.

Alternatively, visit your local store or Banana Republic online to shop the collection.

 

Gap Launches Limited-Edition ’90s Collection

FashionLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

The '90s are having a fashion moment. And, it's almost impossible to think about classic white collared shirts, pleated khakis and bodysuits of that era without thinking of Gap. This was the decade where grunge, minimalism and casual streetwear all blended together to define fashion that feels as fresh today as it did then.

Today, Gap is announcing the brand's first-ever '90s Archive Re-Issue Collection, a capsule featuring 37 pieces for men and women brought back to the racks straight from the brand's '90's collections.

The design team came up with the idea for the collection after multiple visits to Gap's on-site archives studio in New York where the company houses key fashions from all of brands spanning the course of the company's 46-year history. After pouring through racks and racks of some of the brand's most beloved styles, the team realized that so many key '90s fashions are not only relevant today, but many of these timeless pieces are so uniquely Gap.

Some of the key pieces from the collection include:

The Pocket Tee
Originally introduced in 1994 in 21 colors. It's the quintessential tee that goes with everything.

The Mockneck Tee
This casual staple was worn everywhere from the mall to the Oscars and is back in black and white.

The Pleated Khaki
Once the staple of casual Fridays, khakis are getting a new life in 2017.

The 10-Button Tee
This was Gap's first ever product to generate more than $1 million. Many tried to copy it, but none could ever be the original.

This reissue is a true homage to some of our customers' favorite '90s trends. In fact, the design team was so committed to the authenticity of the project, that the pieces will feature the exact same tags, trims, hardware and denim washes that some may still have in their drawers.

"We were determined to replicate the same color and washes of the original denim pieces from the '90s using our current fabrics, some innovative wash techniques, and a sustainable process. We sent our manufacturing partners photos, swatches, and multiple samples to make sure we got everything exactly right," said Natalie Nelson, Wash Manager of Gap's denim design.

To celebrate the launch of the collection, Gap teamed up with the offspring of some of the famous faces featured in our '90s campaigns. The film entitled 'Generation Gap' celebrates our iconic ads Mellow Yellow, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Just Can't Get Enough with a modern twist featuring a cast of emerging talent. It includes Demi Moore's daughter Rumer Willis, Diana Ross' son Evan, Steve Tyler's daughter Chelsea and Jerry Hall's daughter Lizzie Jagger as well as a surprise special guest appearance from Naomi Campbell.

The collection is available online and in select stores globally starting February 7.

Take a look inside the Gap Inc. Heritage and Design Archives, and see how designers use the archives as both inspiration and resource library.

Learn about how Gap and other brands partner with Gap Inc.'s sourcing team to create and innovate the next generation of denim.

Disruption through (meaningful) innovation

ExperienceDennis Bauer, SVP of Global Consumer Payments Team at Gap Inc.1 Comment

I’ve read many articles over the past year criticizing the retail and fashion industry for its lack of trends—according to many sources there doesn’t seem to be one thing driving the industry or customers to shop. I disagree. The major trend that I see is disruption.

Retail is changing and customers are driving that change through their behavior, in more than choosing a particular style. The industry is in a state of profound transformation which is driving consumers’ expectations. Shoppers expect a lot from retailers today, and they should! With technological advances that allow us to have exactly what we want, when we want it, it’s no surprise that our industry is being turned upside down.

In my position at Gap Inc., I’m responsible for creating experiences that make shopping, checkout and payment easy and secure. To share some of the changes we’ve been making and to speak about the state of retail, yesterday Gap Inc.’s Chief Customer Officer, Sebastian DiGrande, spoke at the FinTech Ideas Festival to share how we, as one of the world’s largest retailers, are approaching innovation and what customers can expect from our brands moving forward.

(left to right) Ryan McInerney, Margaret Keane and Sebastian DiGrande discuss partnerships, innovation and customer experience at the FinTech Ideas Festival

(left to right) Ryan McInerney, Margaret Keane and Sebastian DiGrande discuss partnerships, innovation and customer experience at the FinTech Ideas Festival

One of the things discussed was the way we approach tests, pilots and partnerships. Our first step is to always ask—will our customers value this? If the answer is yes, our next step is to listen. Then the customer will decide if we are delivering through personalized experiences. And the cycle continues, a never-ending feedback mechanism of listening and evolving.

Over the past year we have focused on becoming more fast-paced and agile. We are adopting a test-and-learn culture so we can listen and pivot to meet changing customer demands. Only when we get this right will we be given opportunity to be with the customer at every step of the shopping journey—from inspiration to purchase to lifelong brand engagement and loyalty…across all channels.

Rest assured, retail stores are not going away, but they will transform and play an evolved role in how we shop in the future. This is one of our tremendous assets—we can test and learn across e-commerce and a large fleet of stores in a family of brands to gauge what resonates with different customer segments. It is an enviable position.

We’re excited to continue this journey and to bring our customers products and experiences they value and that make them want to keep coming back for more. So, tell us what you want to see. We’re listening. 

To see what Sebastian DiGrande and leaders at Visa and Synchrony Financial had to say about business partnerships and disruption, watch the discussion here.

Gap Tests New Virtual Dressing Room

ExperienceLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. blogger2 Comments

Today at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, Gap unveiled an app that gives customers a new way to try on their favorite Gap styles anywhere they want – at home, at work, at the gym…you decide.

To learn more about this latest initiative, we talked to Gil Krakowsky, VP Global Strategy and Business Development at Gap, about the app and what it can do.

Gap announced a new augmented reality experience at CES today. Tell us more.

Gap is really excited to unveil a new pilot app called the DressingRoom by Gap. The app was created to help customers virtually “try on" clothing through a smartphone, Augmented Reality experience. This is how it works – shoppers choose a Gap style that they might be interested in purchasing. Next, they select one of five body types featured in the app so they can “try on" the piece of clothing from anywhere on a Google Tango-enabled device, and if they love it, they can buy it online.

The fashion industry has not traditionally been geared toward helping people understand how clothes will actually fit. Gap is committed to winning customer trust by consistently presenting and delivering products that make customers look and feel great and we are using technology to get there.

Sounds amazing – how did Gap create this?

The DressingRoom by Gap app was created in collaboration with Avametric, an SF-based app developer, and Google. Google was an obvious collaborator for us on this project, as a longtime innovator in the Augmented Reality and mobile visualization space. And, Avametric is an early pioneer in the Augmented Reality space. The technology they've created uses avatars to help people understand how products will fit without stepping foot in a dressing room, and that's really exciting.

Gap has been working on the fit of our products to better match the way customers are shaped instead of just looking at “fit model" sizes. One of our top priorities is continuing to improve our technical knowledge around how fabric stretch, drape and feel impact the sensation of fit. A lot of that customer information was inputted into the Avametric technology, backed by the Google Tango platform and ASUS hardware, to develop the DressingRoom by Gap pilot app we're looking at today.

Why did Gap decide to create this now?

Gap is committed to making it effortless for customers to look great and on trend, while delivering products that fit, are flattering and make you feel confident. We know that consumer shopping behaviors continue to change at a rapid pace, while technology continues to change the way customers engage with brands, browse products and shop. We want our customers to always be confident that the product they see will fit the way they expect.

Technology gives customers incredible autonomy around the shopping experience and it's our responsibility to constantly explore new ways to make the shopping experience effortless and pursue solutions that will add value to the customer experience. The DressingRoom by Gap pilot app is just one element of our longer-term strategic plan in this space.

When will customers be able to try the app?

At this time, we are in pilot phase with a proof of concept that we will continue to push forward. For those who have a Tango-enabled device, DressingRoom by Gap will be available at the end of January. In the meantime, we are continuing to explore how the DressingRoom by Gap pilot app will work for customers and how it can be used to improve the browsing and shopping experience.

A look back at 2016: Our values in action

ExperienceCarlee Gomes, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Equality, inclusion and sustainability are not buzzwords at Gap Inc. These are the values Gap Inc. was founded on and they're woven into the fabric of our business.

And while we're committed to these values and our efforts to support them because it's the right thing to do, it's rewarding to see the team's work being recognized for how we do business and for bringing our values to life.

This past year, we were named as the sole company recipient of the 2016 Catalyst Award for our culture of equality; we earned a spot on Fortune's list of 50 companies Changing the World for our work to advance the lives of women around the world through our P.A.C.E. program; and we were asked by the White House to speak about the importance of creating first jobs and opportunities for the nation's youth through our This Way Ahead program.

Some other notable achievements in sustainability and equality:

aD - Values 2016 - CORPORATE EQUALITY.jpg

The bottom line is we're proud to be putting in work alongside leading organizations that share our commitment to a brighter future: a more inclusive workplace, a healthier environment, and a more transparent and socially responsible supply chain.

At Gap Inc. and our family of brands, we remain open to business for everyone, today and every day. We are committed to doing our part to bring people together and work towards a brighter future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive as equals.


Take a closer look at a handful of Gap Inc. highlights in 2016:

From Sketch to Store: Inside Gap and BR’s winter collections

FashionBrooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

The Gap women's team works on a piece for Holiday 2016.

Each piece of clothing has a story. This embellished sweater, that pant with the flattering fit, the perfect Holiday outfit — every item begins as an idea, a sketch, a rough pattern.

Once design teams work with their sourcing partners and vendors to translate these ideas into prototypes for the season, these early clothing samples are workshopped by a mix of design, merchandising, fit and sourcing teams.

Through a series of sample reviews and on-model fitting sessions, the clothing is guided through multiple iterations of seams, trims, fits and even fabrics before the product's transformation is complete, and finally adopted into the brand's line.

The Gap team refines the fit of a men's overcoat for Holiday 2016.

Banana Republic design, merchandising and fit teams work with vendors and fabric sourcing partners on-site to translate their designs into clothing customers will love.

How a garment looks in a sketch, and even how it appears in a flat sample is entirely transformed once placed on a human body. Designers then become aware of constricting collars, questionable lengths, and all of those important details that can make or break a design. Even the colors of a knit blend can read differently once stretched around a human form.

Behind every decision is the customer: How and when she or he will wear each item — with sparkle for a Holiday gala? Ice skating with friends? Cozy couch time? — is just as important as the refined, polished details making each garment personal.

As each team pores over the details of every piece, each fitting session becomes a conduit for teams to build off of their initial designs — editing and re-imagining the pieces with wearability and versatility in mind, while refining all of those little details that make a garment special.

The Banana Republic women's team adjusts the collar of a piece for Holiday 2016.

Gap Inc. teams frequently travel to Hong Kong so that they can closely collaborate with sourcing teams and vendors, who work to source the materials and construct the clothing that the Gap and BR teams design, fit, buy, produce and ultimately sell. Each vendor is vetted by Gap Inc. to ensure their factories implement wastewater management programs and comply with Gap Inc.'s other strict sustainability standards.

Take a look behind the scenes with Gap and Banana Republic, and see teams from each brand working to craft their Holiday 2016 collections — in stores now. Shop the finished versions at Gap and Banana Republic..

Banana Republic color swatches for men's chinos.

Gap's design and merchandising teams pore over the details of a garment for Holiday.

Teams work on a men's Gap sweater.

Teams work on a men's Gap sweater.

Gap design and merchandising teams work to ensure the flow of a collar is just right for the customer.

A cross-functional team from BR discusses men's chinos for Holiday 2016.

Gap designers pin color and print swatches.

BR design and merchandising teams work together to ensure each piece of clothing is designed with the customer in mind.

The Gap women's team adjusts the fit of a sweater, on-model.

Intermix Makes it Personal

ExperienceMeredith Meyer, Intermix CommunicationsComment

The demand for customization comes as no surprise; in a market that's over-saturated today consumers are looking for pieces that are unique and personal.

The trend has proven its longevity — veering away from a fad and moving towards a lasting category. Many brands offer monogramming as an option with a customer purchase, but in an innovative effort other brands are looking to work directly with the customer to create entirely personalized, one-of-a-kind pieces.

Enter INTERMIX.

With its recently opened creative retail lab in the Meatpacking District of New York City, the space rotates themes providing customers a completely different experience from season to season. The first theme — highlighted in our retail lab story was "Next Big Things," focusing on emerging and disruptive designers.

For this Holiday season, the lab hosted a week of personalization activities providing shoppers the ability to Make it Personal.

Starting December 5 until December 11, from 4-7 PM daily, designer-hosted events popped up in a dedicated area of the lab, offering shoppers the chance to work one-on-one with the designers to personalize their purchase. 

Participating brands included luxury lingerie & ready-to-wear from Fleur du Mal, designer jewelry from Fallon, leather jackets from The Mighty Company, fine jewelry from Ariel Gordon, Acrylic clutches from Edie Parker, premium denim from 3x1 and handmade hats from Eugenia Kim.

"The week of events at our INTERMIX Meatpacking location will provide an opportunity for our customers to have items from some of the coolest brands like Fleur du Mal and The Mighty Company personalized for them by the designers themselves! We want the experience of shopping to be as much fun as owning something no one else will have," INTERMIX President Jyothi Rao recently told The New York Observer.

You can visit the INTERMIX creative retail lab at 810 Washington Street in the Meatpacking District.

How Gap Wants to Make Shopping Easier: Meet the Woman Behind the Marketing

TalentCarlee Gomes and Kelly Flanagan, Gap Inc. bloggersComment

The folks at Gap want shopping to be a happy experience – something fun, with something for everyone – but more than that, they want shopping at Gap to be something that simplifies your life. And there's no better time for that than during the craziness of the holidays.

We sat down with Gena Inkeles from Gap's global marketing team to talk about how Gap is making things easier for customers in and out of the store. And because it's the holidays, we wanted to get to know her a bit more about how she spends her time outside of the office. We talked gift-giving, chocolate meatballs, and of course, outfit planning – the good the bad, and the comfy.

Let's talk about your role. Tell us about what you do.

The biggest part of what I do is bring to life product stories and merchandising strategies in a customer-facing way across all of our digital channels. That's all of the content on the website, content that goes into email and in digital marketing, and content that can be seen in store environments as well.

It's about really understanding what the product assortment is inside and out, what those merchandising strategies are, and how we turn all of that into something that the customer really cares about. What need is it meeting in their lives? Is it a versatility offering? Is it great quality of fabric? Is it the easiest thing she's going to put on in her day? We keep all of those things in mind as we bring these stories to life.

The other part of my job is really making sure we're constantly testing and learning about the way our customers shop online, in order to make the best online shopping experience possible. We are constantly learning from our customers every day.

When and how do you get to interact with product?

I'm in there right at the very early stages — sometimes even before the clothing is designed! But once pieces are designed, I'm out in New York, which is where our designers are. After they design each season, we go and see the product at the same time as the merchandising teams and the buyers so that we're all figuring out what stories we want to tell together, and how that impacts buying and investment in certain product.

Where are you getting inspiration for your stories?

I get stories from all over! A lot of it is inspired by who our customers are, and what's going on in their lives. We want to be helpful — make their lives easier — whether it's a packing list, the must-haves for the holiday season, or how to style a trend. I'm constantly motivated by the ways we can help our customer in that sense. Yes, we're selling clothes, but I also like to think that we're helping to simplify our customers' lives.

What's the Gap story this holiday?

Our story is all about “Sharing Your Gift.” Its inspired by individuality, optimism and elevating the everyday. The holidays are not just about buying nice gifts, but about giving the best version of yourself to the world - whether that's smiling for the family photo or visiting a friend you haven't seen in forever – we want to evoke that sentiment while also reminding people that Gap is a fantastic place to find gifts for everyone on your list.

I want our customers to come to the website or walk into a store and not feel overwhelmed that it's the holidays, or that they need to buy a million gifts right now. I want them to feel that this is a fun and festive time. Hopefully we're there to help inspire them, get them into the holiday spirit…all while checking off their shopping lists, too. We want them to celebrate with us!

What is it that you personally love about the holidays?

I like the cozy time at home and being by the fire with family and my dog. I love cooking all day, drinking wine, and all the cozy stuff that comes with the holidays – pjs, blankets, baking, all of it! It's all about feeling good and feeling loved.

Food is one of my favorite things about the holidays. My family loves to cook and bake this time of year. We have this recipe for chocolate meatballs. It's my Grandma Betty's recipe and we've made them for as long as I can remember. They're these chocolate covered peanut butter balls that look like meatballs. They always make me smile. And they're so addictive!

What kind of dog you have?

Betty Page — she's a 9-year-old Boston terrier.

And when it comes to gifting, what's your approach?

Well first of all, I should say, that I LOVE buying gifts for people. It's really fun. And it makes me really happy. But it can be stressful buying for so many people! I also happen to have a huge family — a ton of nieces and nephews — so I feel like my focus has shifted in the last couple years to buying loads of baby and kid gifts. Usually I have an idea of something to get based on someone's personality — a thing about that person that is distinct and special. That usually provides a lot of gift inspiration once you spend a little time thinking about it. And then I go from there.

And of course I end up buying a ton from Gap, and Gap Inc. brands in general. Usually I start thinking about the things I want to get early and loading up my basket online ahead of time. A lot of times I'll wait and order everything online on Black Friday. Way less stress and lots of great deals. That definitely makes my life easier!

When it comes to the adults on my list, I try to put some thought into something really special. I really like putting together gift sets. One year we gave my husband's mom a date-night gift set – a cute dress, a little necklace, some other things we knew she'd love. I try to make it really fun and personal and something they'd really be excited about, that they can't necessarily go out and buy themselves.

What's the best gift you ever received — holiday or otherwise?

Last year for Christmas my husband and I said we were going to give each other some type of activity to do. It wasn't going to be a physical gift. He gave me a Herschel makeup bag, and inside of it was a DVD of European Vacation and a check for a trip to Europe! It was something I'd been talking about for a long time, but just hadn't pulled the trigger on. I was so surprised! I literally had no idea and I was totally blown away. He completely outdid me though. He got a cooking class!

Where did you go on your trip?

Italy. And Turkey. It was amazing. Istanbul is an incredible city.

Do you have good or terrible holiday outfits from your past?

Yes! I definitely had a crushed velvet, burgundy dress with these humungous bell sleeves. It would probably be very on-trend right now! It was so '90s. And I definitely had a velvet choker to go with it. That's one that stands out. I'm also picturing some pretty bad plaid jumpers with the knee-high socks.

Do you have a favorite piece from a Gap Inc. brand, or something you've had forever that you can't get rid of?

Yes! My pajamas from Gap. I need to buy more pairs of them because I legitimately want to wear them every single night.

Other pieces I've had for a long time from Gap?

I've had a white Oxford shirt for at least 10 years that I still wear, and it's super soft now because I've washed it so many times. That's probably one that I still get a ton of use out of because I dress it up, dress it down — wear it with all kinds of different things, and it's a classic. It goes with everything. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it.

Recipe for Grandma Betty's Chocolate Covered Meatballs
Serves: 30

Ingredients
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup oatmeal
3 tablespoons melted butter
16 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
 
Instructions

Mix well and form into walnut sized balls. 
Melt chocolate.
Dip formed balls into using a toothpick to turn until covered.  
Place on tray and refrigerate until firm. 

Enjoy!


For more behind-the-scenes looks at Gap Inc. for holiday...

Get to know the team who styles Banana Republic’s covetable collections, and learn their styling tips and tricks for everyday and holiday looks.
 
Your favorite Old Navy floral? It was likely hand-painted by one of our in-house artists. Meet the ladies behind our prints.
 

Meet the woman who makes fashion float for Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. She shares her tips and tricks for styling for the perfect holiday photo. Learn her secrets.

Old Navy celebrates the season of giving

ExperienceCarlee Gomes, Gap Inc. blogger1 Comment

At Gap Inc., it's always the season of giving, but this time of year, we're especially in the gifting spirit.

Continuing one of our favorite traditions during the holidays, Old Navy welcomed nearly 100 kids from GLIDE, a San Francisco-based organization that runs services for low-income and homeless families, for a holiday shopping spree of their own.

It's a part of our commitment to Be What's Possible, and our ongoing efforts to support the communities we're in and the people we reach.

Supplied with a list of items and sizes, each child was treated to a $100 shopping spree at the Old Navy Flagship Store on Market Street in San Francisco, along with their very own personal shopper — an Old Navy volunteer.

Speeding through the racks and stacks of colorful Old Navy wares, the kids each filled their bags with presents for friends, family, and of course, themselves. (If you've never seen a seven-year-old with $100 burning a hole in their pocket and free reign of three stories of shopping, you haven't seen unbridled excitement at its best.)

With gifts bought, bags filled, and smiles on their faces, everyone left happy and in the holiday spirit.

See more of the work we're doing with Be What's Possible and how we're supporting families and communities in need (and how you can, too) here.

Happy Gifting!

A Banana Republic Collection Made in L.A.

FashionLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Thanks to a year-long partnership between Banana Republic and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, this holiday customers will have the opportunity to shop for a collection that not only supports an emerging, L.A.-based designer, but provides a special menswear capsule for unique and effortlessly cool pieces.

Starting December 6, customers in select stores can shop The Greg Lauren for Banana Republic menswear collection, which was created in close partnership with the Banana Republic design team and was designed, cut and sewn in Los Angeles. The capsule will include 16 pieces, which marry Lauren's iconic, utilitarian style with Banana Republic's classic American sportswear sensibility.

We asked Greg Lauren and Banana Republic's Michael Anderson a few questions about the collaboration, and this is what we learned:

aDressed_GregLauren_BR_bts3.jpg

BR's SVP of Design, Michael Anderson (left) and Fashion Designer Greg Lauren

How did this partnership come about?

Greg Lauren: The CFDA approached me to work with Banana Republic as the newest iteration of their ongoing partnership. The CFDA's mission of nurturing creative people is so important and I appreciate that an American heritage brand is supporting that mission.

I saw this as an amazing challenge and opportunity to bring a one-of-one production approach to a broader consumer base. Looking at how to take an artisanal brand and scale it is something I've been looking at in my own business, and this partnership was a great exercise in exploring that.

Michael Anderson: Working with CFDA allows us to support the fashion industry and creative talent. This program is a great way to help local American designers and manufacturers grow their businesses and broaden their visibility.

How and where are the pieces produced?

Greg Lauren: We spent a lot of time vetting to find just the right production partner for this project

We needed someone with the capabilities for scale but that would also be willing to spend time learning the specialty stitches and production techniques I use in my own business and that we wanted to use for this collection. The pieces are produced by TEG in Los Angeles.

What was it like working together on this collection?

Michael Anderson: It was a true collaboration and Greg was a great partner. We both learned a lot and worked outside our norms to create something very collaborative and unique. Greg shares the same passion for details and we had a great time marrying BR's signature style with his artistic approach. We are excited to bring this to our men's customer and see it as a great compliment to our current men's assortment of versatile, modern pieces.

Greg Lauren: We worked together every step of the way to execute a strong vision for the collection. We were able to stay true to the vision by keeping the collection tight and niche. I am really proud of the work we've done together and the product as a whole.

Tips and tricks from a Gap Inc. photo studio stylist: How to create a laydown

TalentKelly Flanagan and Brooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggers1 Comment

Need to photograph a heavy coat floating in mid-air? Anjuli Martin can show you how.

The Berkeley, Calif., native is a stylist at Gap Inc.'s San Francisco photo studio — where teams of stylists, art directors and photographers capture imagery of product from Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta so that online shoppers can see how clothing fits and flows from every angle.

We took her out of the studio to talk pescatarian dishes, holiday traditions and teach us amateurs how to make our own living-room floor laydowns look effortless.

What are the challenges in photographing clothing for online shoppers leading into the holidays?

With the holidays, there's usually more clothing with a hint of sparkle, and capturing that sparkle can be a challenge — definitely more for the photographers. Stylists will assist with a little adjustment here and a little adjustment there to get the clothing to catch the light in the right way, so that the sparkle is visible.

Probably the biggest challenge, though, with holiday product is there are a lot more coats and other heavy items. We just recently switched from photographing our product on hangers: Now we're removing the hanger, but we're still photographing the product upright, so we're fighting gravity. With the big coats, it's kind of a trip.

How do you even do that — photograph a piece of clothing upright — without a hanger?

So you have the hanger in initially, and then you'll pin the coat in the shoulder area. We'll use a piece of fleece to create a little bit of structure in the shoulder, and we also have these 2D forms that we developed, with just a little bit of body.

Usually the fleece works well for kids and baby, and we'll use the forms for adult. And then you just pin — a lot!

What was the reasoning behind removing the hanger?

Without the hanger, the photo can be cropped tighter, so customers can get a little closer to the clothing.

We worked with the art direction team on testing photos with hangers, laydowns, and vertical without the hanger — which is where we landed. The team found that hangers could be distracting for viewers, so removing them allows the customer to fully focus on the details of the product.

Do you have any tips or tricks for people photographing their own holiday laydowns?

Have a focus. Whether you're creating a laydown for your blog or for Instagram, if people are ultimately going to be looking at your images on their phones, the screen size is so small — so having a clear message is helpful in terms of telling a story and drawing people in.

Given the limited amount of space, how important are props?

It depends on your message. If you're doing something around the holidays, you definitely want to bring that spirit and make it come alive for your audience. If you're just photographing one sweater, propping it with a few things — like a cup of cocoa — would bring that spirit to life.

But there's a fine line. Props can be really charming and cute, but there's also over-propping: Too many props can be overwhelming — especially in a small space.

Thinking about negative space and about how the eye moves through your image can be helpful in creating an image that really pops.

What's your favorite part about the holidays?

My family is always into the eating part of any Holiday.

Family and friends drop by throughout the day, and we enjoy hanging out and cooking together. We do non-traditional foods — we like to mix it up so it's not the same menu every year.

What's the most non-traditional dish your family has embraced for a holiday dinner?

Poke has become a tradition for Thanksgiving. I actually have no idea how it started… I think someone was craving it one year, and it was a hit, so we kept doing it. We actually might bring it back for Christmas this year.

Poke doesn't make any sense with anything else that's at our table. Last year, we had it next to the stuffing, goulash, and just an eclectic mix of things. Our table usually feels like a potluck, even though it's not. It's odd, but delicious.

Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?

Growing up, we had these glass bird ornaments on our tree. My mom and I still have this running tradition of gifting each other bird ornaments. It's always a hunt to find a great bird!

I also make my own Christmas cards. I love crafting, and make holiday prints with linoleum, speedy cut or wood printing blocks.

What's your gifting strategy?

My favorite presents are stocking stuffers. My family has one stocking for everyone, and we all contribute small little things that are thoughtful and funny.

I'll try and pick things up here and there when I see them throughout the year, or make mental notes. I like getting people gifts that are personal, but unexpected — something that reminds me of them, just because.

For more behind-the-scenes looks at Gap Inc. for holiday...

Get to know the team who styles Banana Republic’s covetable collections, and learn their styling tips and tricks for everyday and holiday looks.
 
Your favorite Old Navy floral? It was likely hand-painted by one of our in-house artists. Meet the ladies behind our prints.
 
Meet the woman who helps Gap create a happy, festive and seamless shopping experience for customers online and in stores… and learn about her family’s holiday tradition of chocolate meatballs.

Gap’s Utility Jackets That Give Back

FashionLiz Nunan, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Today is World AIDS Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the fight to end the AIDS pandemic and to mourning those we have lost to the disease. In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Gap's first (RED) collection and its role as the founding (RED) apparel partner, the brand is launching a collection of iconic Utility Jackets, each featuring custom designs by six of the most renowned female street artists from around the world. This talented group of women is known for their exciting, thought-provoking work and for creating awareness of contributions by women in the world of street art.

One of the women who created an original design for the Gap Utility Jacket line is international street artist and coloring book author, Kelsey Montague. Kelsey is known for her for intricate pen-and-ink drawings and a thriving social media campaign that transforms her interactive public murals into living works of art. We interviewed the artist to learn about how she got involved with the Gap project and the inspiration behind her design.

Photo of Kelsey Montague by Sinhe Xavier

Photo of Kelsey Montague by Sinhe Xavier

How did you get involved with the Gap (RED) project?

(RED) approached me about this incredible project and I was so very excited to do something that would support the Global Fund to Fight AIDS.

I am so thrilled I'm able to contribute to this fund through my art. These are awful diseases and I am grateful to be able to contribute.

What was your inspiration for the design you created for the utility jacket? Do the feathers represent something?

My wings and feathers, to me, represent freedom and strength - freedom to rise above the troubles of our everyday life, but also the strength to face those issues that plague us. I believe that this collaboration with (RED) and Gap embodies the same spirit. This product is all about facing the issue of ending AIDS in our lifetime and rising above it by continuing to fight it in every way we can.

The red feather over the heart is designed to remind us of those we've lost in this battle.

How did you get your start as a street artist and an illustrator?

I have been an artist since I was born. Almost everyone on my mother's side was an artist. My grandfather was a watercolorist and he always put a bird in all of his paintings. It was a spiritual thing to him. I spent my childhood looking for those birds in his paintings. I know that influenced my love of wings and feathers.

I did my first large scale, street art mural a few years ago in NYC and I wanted to make it interactive because I want people to be able to step into a piece and become an actual piece of art.

Do you have a personal memory from the (RED) collection that debuted at Gap ten years ago?

I remember being impressed that (RED) was creating a way for everyone to contribute to AIDS by partnering with such amazing companies. It was innovative and powerful and still is.

I've really loved being a part of this collection ten years later and interpreting the spirit of this partnership onto clothing.

To learn more about (RED) and how Gap has partnered with the organization to fight against AIDS, click here.

Click here to shop the full Gap x (RED) collection.

The design team behind some of your favorite Old Navy prints

TalentCarlee Gomes and Kelly Flanagan, Gap Inc. bloggers2 Comments

Do you ever see a print or pattern that just plain makes you happy? That dark floral on a maxi dress for fall, the classic tartan on a button down that will be a hit at holiday parties– sometimes the perfect print just makes you feel good, especially when you're wearing it. And that's what the design team at Old Navy wants to do.

We took a closer look at the holiday collection at Old Navy and met a few of the talented team members behind the designs, to talk hand-painted prints, tamales, ornament shopping and how some of the prettiest patterns come to be.

What do you do here at Old Navy? What is your title?

Kristina: I am the Sr. Director of Print, Pattern and Color for the brand for women's, men's, kids and baby at Old Navy.

What does that mean?

Kristina: My role is to guide the brand in print and color, so I create the color palettes for the seasons. I also work closely with the brand's SVP of Design and with a lovely team of talented artists who work on the print and pattern teams. Every print, plaid, stripe, or color you see on an OId Navy clothing item was created by our team!

Jen: I'm on the women's team. So my teammates and I create the prints for all of the women's apparel categories.

Kristina: Jen is being very modest! She's our in-house artist for all of our signature prints. She's a painter, so she gets inspiration from all over and then comes up with our signature prints from scratch. We recently celebrated Jen's talents at a brand PR event in NYC showcasing some of her hand-painted prints from our Fall 2016 collection. We have an incredible team.

Do you collaborate across categories – across men's, women's….?

Kristina: Absolutely –Our SVP of design, Sarah Holme, is all about creating synergy throughout our product.. The thing that makes us stand out as a brand is our focus on family. This season, we have the same plaid pattern that can be found in men's, women's and kids clothing. Our customer really loves that “mommy-and-me moment.” It's about threading the family wardrobe together with print and color as a key element, while still keeping the pieces unique.

Where does your inspiration come from for a pattern you might come up with?

Jen: It kind of comes from everywhere. We are constantly looking at tears – runway and street – with our concept team. We also look to vintage pieces and find inspiration in patterns we love. For Fall, one of our concepts was called “The Great Outdoors,” so it became more about berries and wild flower patterns – finding ways to work nature into the season to evoke that outdoorsy feeling while still feeling fun and feminine.

Do you start with the concept first?

Kristina: For fall, the concept really came organically. Feminine meets utility – and then our concept team put a beautiful twist on it with the outdoors piece. And then Jen drew these incredible flowers. So, again, we get our inspiration from various places but then Jen pulls from a more authentic place and makes it more personal. And that's really what I love – that the team (as Jen says) gets inspired by everything.

(to Jen) I feel like you bought a lot of flowers…

Jen: We wanted to heat press flowers but it didn't work out so well…

Kristina: We almost burned down the building! We bought a heat presser and got called by the building safety team, so…

What do you want customers to feel when you are designing? What guides you in that sense?

Kristina: We had this concept called “The Wanderer,” which was based in boho. The idea was that boho is resurging so we really wanted to have these beautiful romantic, feminine pieces. It was a fun departure from our usual designs, which are sometimes geared more on the preppy side. Our team loved the challenge of developing new boho prints while maintaining the essence of the Old Navy customer, adding pops of color and making sure the product feels happy.

With women's wear, you have to take your personal opinion out of it to make sure you're fitting the culture of our customers – that's what we're constantly doing – getting inspired, going to Old Navy, and seeing the people who shop there. That's actually one of my favorite things to do because sometimes you can find yourself in a bubble, and what we always try to do is get back to what is really wearable for her.

When it comes to pattern and textile design, what is it that you are most passionate about? What elements of what you do speaks to you?

Jen: I would say, half of it is that we have a really great team and a fantastic work environment. And the other half is getting to be creative and make beautiful things – that's really at the core of it. It's being creative and mindful of all the practical limitations at the same time, and trying to come up with creative solutions that are beautiful, but also fill a need.

Kristina: What really gets me motivated is being inspired by other creative people .The fact that we are able to work for a big brand that is so loved, and get to see so many people wearing our designs – to me, that's amazing. I once had a connecting flight in Texas on my way back from Paris, and when I landed, I saw three people wearing Old Navy – there was just something so amazing about traveling for two weeks in Europe and coming back home seeing people wearing your designs. That's just so cool!

Jen: I don't think it ever gets old seeing people wear stuff that you've worked on. Every time we're at a wedding in the summer I'm like, “She's wearing our dress!”

Let's jump into holiday – what do you love about the holidays?

Jen: I love everything that is cheesy and traditional about the holidays especially because growing up my family wasn't really into celebrating it. We never even had a tree! So now that I'm older, my husband and I always like to have a real tree for Christmas and make a big thing about decorating it and doing all the funny Christmas things that I never did growing up. It's a lot of fun.

Kristina: I have a big family, so for us it's all about celebrating family and spending time together. I love being able to make memories with my son now. I love putting on that Yule log TV channel! It's all about really getting into the spirit.

What's your approach to gifting during the holidays?

Kristina: As I get older, I've been much more into more personalized stuff. Trying to figure out more personalized gifts for people that I put together myself, and I think that is like my biggest challenge. I always want to go with gift certificates! But my son is the first person I shop for.

Jen: I'm really bad about the gift giving and always leave shopping to the last minute. Even when I try to plan ahead, I can never follow through! I'll say to myself, “I'm going to hand paint all my Christmas cards this year!” and then I blink and it's the week before Christmas and they're definitely not going out on time.

What are your holiday traditions?

Jen: We are constantly adding new things. Making new traditions every year. It was so bare bones for me to start with…we started with a tree and now we're collecting ornaments. And every year we add something more. Now we make our own cider, too.

Do you have a certain aesthetic that guides you in your ornament collecting?

Jen: I don't have a specific aesthetic—I just buy what I like! Especially when we go on trips. We bought random ornaments in Sweden when we were there – and it was May – but we saw these wooden horses and I was like, “Oh we need to get these!”

Kristina: We always go to my mom's house to decorate the tree--she has the same ceramic ornaments from forever ago. My dad is Mexican so we make tamales a few days before Christmas using my grandmother's recipe– it's full day of hard labor but it's amazing. My family is also really into Black Friday shopping so they love going to Old Navy. It's a sport!


For more behind-the-scenes looks at Gap Inc. for holiday...

Meet the woman who makes fashion float for Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. She shares her tips and tricks for styling for the perfect holiday photo. Learn her secrets.

Get to know the team who styles Banana Republic’s covetable collections, and learn their styling tips and tricks for everyday and holiday looks.

Meet the woman who helps Gap create a happy, festive and seamless shopping experience for customers online and in stores… and learn about her family’s holiday tradition of chocolate meatballs.

Fashion tips, from Banana Republic’s resident stylist duo

TalentKelly Flanagan and Brooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggersComment

Want to stay cozy, but also look chic? Blair Williams and Myles Lett have you covered.

The senior manager of styling for Banana Republic and the associate stylist for stores and windows fashion looks for the brand's visual merchandising team, curated for BR customers. Whether taking a look from day to night, or staying in with friends, Blair and Myles want to inspire customers to get the most out of their purchases by having fun with fashion.

With versatility top of mind, the styling team showcases how different product pairings can create entirely new looks with the same pieces. For example, a women's suit jacket and pant may hang next to each other, but be paired with a ruffled blouse or distressed jean on a mannequin, for an entirely new outfit.

We sat down with Blair and Myles to talk holiday style tips, memorable bad outfits, and making the perfect wintry wreath.

What's your go-to holiday look?

Blair: I love being cozy and comfortable during the holidays, so chunky sweaters and turtlenecks are my favorite staples. I love layering and adding texture and dimension to a look by pairing a denim woven under a sweater or a striped tee. If I'm going to a dinner party, I usually dress up my jeans and sweaters with a statement earring and a leather bomber jacket.

Myles: I have a black pajama one-piece that is my absolute favorite. I wear it Thanksgiving and Christmas with a black beanie. It's my favorite because the only thing I have to pick out to wear is pants!

Do you have any go-to tips or tricks for translating a daytime outfit to a holiday dinner or party?

Blair: Definitely accessories! Jeans, flats and a cashmere sweater can be super dressed up by killer heels, a brooch and some leather or a long trench. People don't dress as traditionally as they used to — you don't have to wear a dress to a holiday party — so I'm all about being comfortable, but adding a little shine and luxury.

Myles: I usually wear one super polished item, like tuxedo pants. For daytime, I might pair it with a white button-up and cashmere sweater. To segue into night, I can throw on a tee-shirt and a beanie. Choose one polished high-end item that is also beautifully made and comfortable to wear and you're good to go.

How do you approach styling sweaters?

Blair: Banana has a lot of sweaters that are super versatile. The nice thing about sweaters — especially for holiday — is that there's a lot of layering that can go into them. This holiday, Banana has tons of sweaters in cashmere and luxurious fabrications that you can dress down with ripped jeans or pair with skirts, or even layer under a slip dress!

Myles: A crewneck merino sweater is so chic. It just looks so classic, on a man or a woman. The best part about sweaters is you can wear them under or on top. They can either be the focus of or an addition to any outfit. Versatility!

What's your favorite trend you're seeing this holiday?

Blair: I've been loving parkas with faux fur detailing for a little while now, but I'm really into the tension that you can create in a look by pairing a parka to a skirt or dress to make the look feel a little more modern and easy going.

Myles: Wide-leg pants! And more relaxed silhouettes. I love that the focus is no longer on skin-tight clothes. I think you can't be more chic than a basic tee and a wide-leg suit pant.

What do you love about the holidays?

Blair: I love that I don't have to do anything except stay inside and hang out with my family and my dog, Henri. I don't need to use my phone, I don't have my computer... I just hibernate.

My parents live right by the beach, so we get super wrapped up in our sweaters and scarves and walk to the beach with the dogs. I love that about Northern California — winters where you can still go to the beach, but it's really cold and windy with dramatic waves.

Myles: Family and friends. They are the most important to me. Having a time that is dedicated to spending time with your people and pets, who could ask for more? Also, who doesn't love to sleep in?

Do you have any memorable bad holiday outfits? (i.e. that ruffled monstrosity from when you were 4 years old?)

Blair: I don't necessarily have any specific outfits that come to mind, but every year when I was little, my dad made me pose for a picture with every gift I'd open. I'd get so excited and wake up while it was still dark out to open my gifts; so there's way too much documentation of me in my crazy pajamas with my hair poking out in every direction.

Myles: There is a photo of me in a Christmas sweater vest with gold buttons. In the photo I also have some sort of strange hair cut: short on top and a tiny ponytail in the back. I look so happy in it, though!

What's your favorite holiday tradition?

Blair: I love being crafty, so every year I help my mom design our table setting with flowers and candles, and we put together curated decorations with different themes. I'm not traditional when it comes to the holidays, so I love decorations to feel wintry and seasonal — not too Christmasy.

I also love Hot Toddies — they're my jam during the holidays.

Myles: The flowers! I love doing any form of flower arranging — from table centerpieces to door wreaths. Flowers have always made me so happy. I took a break from styling and was a florist for a while.

What's your gifting strategy? Do you have a go-to gift?

Blair: I love collecting gifts throughout the year when something reminds me of the person in my life. Nothing feels better than getting someone the perfect gift!

Myles: Homemade cards: Who doesn't love a heartfelt letter and drawing? Also, gift cards!

What's the best gift you've ever received?

Blair: When I was 10, I got my first puppy — which was the best gift ever.

Myles: My best friend Kate actually got me a pair of Patricia Field studded leather half-finger gloves — the same ones that Carrie Bradshaw wore on Sex and the City — and I was so happy. It was just the best. Katie knows me so well, but to get a gift that I had only dreamt of was over the top! It was also before I lived in NYC, so it represented something much bigger to me.

For more behind-the-scenes looks at Gap Inc. for holiday...

Meet the woman who makes fashion float for Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. She shares her tips and tricks for styling for the perfect holiday photo. Learn her secrets.

Your favorite Old Navy floral? It was likely hand-painted by one of our in-house artists. Meet the ladies behind our prints.

Meet the woman who helps Gap create a happy, festive and seamless shopping experience for customers online and in stores… and learn about her family’s holiday tradition of chocolate meatballs.

Gap Inc. looks — now and then — with WhoWhatWear

FashionLiz NunanComment

Ten years ago, there was no iPhone, bloggers were few, and you probably relied on glossy magazines for all your style and trend advice. Fast forward to today and consumers have lots of options for how they get their fashion - from Pinterest to fashion sites to street style, there's no shortage of how to get your hands on the latest trends.

One of the first sites to recognize the need for digital fashion content is WhoWhatWear.com and for the past ten years, shoppers have turned to them for styling and fashion advice (and we've loved working with them on bringing our brands to life for their readers!).

To celebrate the last 10 years of fashion as well the 10th anniversary of WhoWhatWear, Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy partnered with the site's Editorial Director Kat Collings and Fashion Director Bobby Schuessler to take a look at some key trends (velvet from 2006, a faux fur vest from 2008, a primary-color statement coat from 2014!) as well as some of their favorite trends from our current collections. Check out this video to take a walk down memory fashion lane and get some ideas on how to wear the season's biggest trends.


Love what you saw? Shop the trends below. Happy shopping!

Designing the perfect Friendsgiving

ExperienceKelly Flanagan, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

Deck the halls and dress to impress... it's time to gather your friends for Friendsgiving!

This chic tradition brings together the family you choose to surround yourself with so you can share in your favorite foods, customs and festivities that make the holidays worth waiting for every year. Everyone brings their special recipe, drink or decor to the table to create a giant feast of fun.

This year, Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic partnered to create their own Friendsgiving — featuring next level, oh-so-Instagram-worthy recipes, drinks, table decor and, of course, head-to-toe looks styled by a beloved set of Bay Area influencers.

Sacramento Street blogger/designer Caitlin Flemming hosted this Gap Inc.-brand fueled Friendsgiving, conjuring a stunning table setting with delicate pine needles, taper candles and autumn-inspired flowers.

Guests Erica Coffman (Honestly WTF), Nichole Ciotti (Vanilla Extract), Amanda Holstein (Advice From a 20-Something), Todd Wagner (Honestly YUM), Erin Hiemstra (Apartment 34), Jeanne Chan (Shop Sweet Things) and Therese Jacinto (Craft & Couture) each contributed their own dishes, libations and decor to bring the celebration to life.

Take a look behind the scenes as Caitlin and her guests get ready for Friendsgiving. See how Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic teams partner with each trendsetter to define and capture his and her holiday looks in the video, above.

Because it's always better to celebrate with friends, in style.

The craft of cashmere: Banana Republic partners with Scotland’s famed Todd & Duncan mill

FashionKelly Flanagan and Brooke Ginnard, Gap Inc. bloggers1 Comment

Deceptively green at a glance, the rolling hills that envelop the heart of Scotland are a mix of highs and lows — the grasses a blend of greens, golds, browns, oranges dotted with purple wildflowers and white sheep. The clouds also add to this effect — a dramatic blend of whites, grays, browns constantly mixing together to diffuse light and rain over the autumn landscape, parting every so often to reveal the sun.

This rustic blend of natural colors is reflected at famed Scottish cashmere mill Todd & Duncan, where pigment specialists take inspiration from Scotland's countryside to give new life and color to the finest quality cashmere fiber — painstakingly cared for and crafted into the world's most luxurious, sought-after cashmere yarn.

Now partnering with Banana Republic, Todd & Duncan is using its 140-plus years of spinning expertise to develop luxurious cashmere yarns, using the finest quality cashmere fiber, in exclusive colors for the brand.

"They offer these color ranges that you really don't see anywhere else," says Megan Kearney, Sr. Manager of Production at Banana Republic. "They've developed a couple of color palettes for us that focus on new neutrals — aside from the typical grays, creams and oatmeals — so it really creates a full neutral color range."

Like Scotland's hills, at first glance a Banana Republic cashmere sweater spun with Todd & Duncan yarn may, deceptively, appear blue. Upon closer inspection, the cashmere encompasses a blend of blues, greens, browns, even oranges. These unique blends create rich colors with a fullness that leaps out from any wardrobe.

Craftsmanship is taken seriously at Todd & Duncan: A "junior" spinner may have been working at the mill for just 20 years, as opposed to a master spinner who will have worked with the yarn for more than 40.

Men and women working in various stages of yarn production speak of the mill as if it were an old family friend. With warm voices and a twinkle in their eyes, they can tell you about the mill's history in Scotland, its reputation for quality and the pride they take in carrying that reputation forward. Signs throughout the mill remind employees that the quality of the cashmere yarns is in their hands.

Though armed with a deep-rooted history, Todd & Duncan continues to reinvest its resources in new technologies, partnering closely with Banana Republic and others to evolve the design capabilities of cashmere and deliver luxurious yarns that customers crave.