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Spring Campaigns Tap Multi-Hyphenate Influencers to Inspire Activism

A diverse casts of athletes, musicians, models and other global influencers star in spring campaigns aimed at inspiring communities to create positive change. Donned in preppy styles, loose denim and other fashion trends from the ’90s, casts of both American Eagle (AE) and Gap campaigns celebrate individuality and cater to Gen Z-led values for inclusivity and self-acceptance.

Gap’s spring campaign spotlights 13 multi-hyphenate creatives advocating for causes such as social justice, environmentalism and women’s rights.

The group includes All Womxn Project CEO and body-positive activist Clementine Desseaux; musicians Yumi Nu, Raph, Ryan Yoo, and Michael and Daniel Spearman; fine artists Chito and Bryant Giles; and breakdancer David “illy” Bennett. Models Shalom Harlow, Indira Scott, Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and Georgie Badiel-Liberty a.k.a The Water Princess pose for Gap.

Headlining the campaign is Dapper Dan, the legendary Harlem designer and recipient of the CFDA’s lifetime achievement award in November. As part of the campaign, Gap tapped him to reinterpret the brand’s iconic arch logo hoodie featuring the words “Dap Gap.” On March 10 at 4 p.m. EST, the limited-edition hoodie will be available exclusively online.

“As a brand rooted in modern American optimism, we celebrate what it means to be your true self today,” said Mary Alderete, global head of Gap marketing. “This campaign is an honest reflection of individuals shaping culture by embracing their own paths—not what has been historically or traditionally defined for them, but what they define to be true for themselves. The campaign creative captures these creators pioneering a more inclusive, accepting world and putting their own distinctive stamp on American style.”

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The campaign complements the brand’s recently developed advisory board, Power of the Collective Council. The group was announced earlier this month as a way to create better access and advocate for historically marginalized and vulnerable communities.

The campaign was conceived by Gap global creative director Len Peltier and shot by fashion photographer Zoey Grossman. In it, cast members showcase their individual styling of Gap’s spring collection, which includes retro garments, ’90s loose-fitting denim, varsity sweaters, hoodies, oversized parkas and pocket T-shirts in bold colorways. Khaki shorts and tapered wide-leg khaki pants are also part of the collection. Khakis are a growing business for Gap, which recently reported that sales for its modern khaki pant rose 33 percent in January compared to 2019.

AE’s Spring 2022 “Members Always” serves as a catalyst for the launch of Future Together, a new philanthropic brand platform created to support and inspire the American Eagle community and the causes consumers care about. To kick off the initiative, the brand will invite customers to share their social mission for an opportunity to become one of 20 recipients of grants totaling $200,000.

The cast of its spring campaign will also support the program’s launch through social and volunteer initiatives with the causes and charity partners most meaningful to each of them. The campaign features influencers such as tennis player Coco Gauff, actor and musician Joshua Bassett, actors Madelyn Cline, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Michael Evans Behling, and musician and YouTuber mxmtoon.

“American Eagle’s Members Always campaign represents our belief that this generation has the power to come together and create a place where everyone belongs,” said Jennifer Foyle, American Eagle and Aerie president and executive creative director. “Coco, Joshua, Madelyn, Maitreyi, Michael and mxmtoon share a unique point of view on today’s world that empowers others to believe in the limitless possibilities of tomorrow.”

American Eagle and Gap tapped diverse casts of influencers to showcase their spring collections while inspiring activism.
American Eagle Courtesy

The campaign also includes a metaverse component with Roblox—a marketing direction that brands such as Forever 21, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Vans recently explored. Through the partnership, the Members Always campaign will be featured on Livetopia, a popular role-playing game within Roblox. There, users can explore the collection while collecting exclusive game prizes such as virtual garments for their avatars.

AE is also utilizing Snapchat Marker Tech, which helps bring animated 2D objects into a 3D interactive display. Using the technology, shoppers can scan the store display featuring Gauff and play an AR tennis match with the 17-year-old U.S. tennis star all while earning points by hitting key “targets” from the brand’s spring collection.

Anchored by denim, the women’s spring range includes shorts, flare jeans, wide-leg jeans and relaxed fits that reflect the latest trends and nod to similar styles of the ‘90s. For men, denim highlights include AE’s popular athletic and athletic skinny fit jeans that feature a slightly looser fit and a touch of stretch. Tops round out the collection, with prep sweaters, boyfriend shirts and layering shirts for women and classic resort tops and graphic T-shirts for men.