This email was sent to all North America Gap Inc. Employees on October 5 from Sarah Holme, Head of Design for Old Navy and Executive Sponsor of the Create with Audacity movement.
Gap Inc.’s greatest differentiator is the collective power of our brands. When we create together as a community, beautiful things can happen.
Earlier in 2021, Sonia posed a challenge: how can we feed the creative soul of this company and deepen our competitive moat; shedding the past and investing toward a future where Creating with Audacity is the top value.
This vision of a culture where both the art and science of design are upheld was so inspiring to me, as I have been relentlessly creating from the first moment I can remember. I started my journey with audacity at a young age, when I was accepted into Art College at the age of 16 when they were only taking 18-year-old applicants. It’s a gift to have made a career out of my passion, and I know so many others at Gap Inc. feel the same.
Our customers and our communities have been forever changed over the past year. We have the opportunity to reset with them and approach our work differently with a focus on the value of creativity, innovation and design, actively investing time and energy in our creative talent.
Today, Create with Audacity is not just one of our Words to Live By—we are creating a movement that supports Gap Inc. creatives in accessing, engaging in, and realizing their individual, diverse and collective power. Together we can & will perpetually imagine and build the future. This demands a different mindset—one driven by curiosity and courage.
In partnership with leaders across the business, we’ve set out to organically build a movement. We have welcomed world-renowned trend forecasters, designers, activists and authors to speak with creative teams, setting the context for where the world is headed and how we can—and should—stay ahead of the innovation curve. We have sponsored cross-brand designers on inspiration trips to stay culturally relevant and forward-thinking. We have established an external Creative Advisory Council—consisting of leaders in the global design, fashion, art and culture fields—to meet regularly with design leads, challenging them to think differently about inspiring, engaging and creating for our customers. And we made headlines in June with the largest single donation by a major retailer ever to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to support design programs, building a diverse talent pipeline for Gap Inc. and celebrating the rich history of HBCUs.
We believe in the power of an audaciously creative company: one where we take bold risks, and we must work differently to build and maintain that muscle. We are creating dedicated space for creators, makers and artists across Gap Inc. to break the barriers of conventional design thinking, making way for what is new, different or unproven.
This is only the beginning and there are many more exciting updates to share soon.