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Gap Enlists ‘Icons’ to Front Campaign for Reimagined Classics

Gap has pulled together a star-powered roster to promote its latest collection.

Dubbed “Icons,” the fall 2022 campaign features “essential” designs central to consumer wardrobes, reimagined with inventive proportions and sustainable fabrications. Diverse “culture shapers” in the campaign include actress Selma Blair, an inclusivity advocate who lives with multiple sclerosis, British musician and activist Labrinth, model and writer Cameron Russell, actor and model Lucky Blue Smith, and NASCAR’s first female Arab driver, Toni Breidinger.

Conceived by Gap global creative director Len Peltier, the line nods to Gap’s heritage. Signature silhouettes from ‘90s-inspired loose-fitting denim to oversized button-downs, cargos and pleated khakis, high-rise flared jeans and the classic logo hoodie are captured in a series of photos and video shorts directed by Koto Bolofo.

“A Gap Icon is an essential classic—the mall-core standard, really,” global head of marketing Mary Alderete said, referencing the brand’s denim and shirting, now made with organic cotton and water-saving techniques. Gap introduced Washwell, a smart-wash denim program, in 2016 to mitigate water waste in denim production. The collection’s khaki pants were also made using Washwell.

Beyond material improvements, Alderete said the capsule’s theme centers around timeless individuality. “There’s nothing more iconic than shaping culture by amplifying your true self and talent,” she said, adding that the personalities in the campaign “are using their unique talents and abilities to better us all.”

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Selma Blair and Labrinth for Gap Icons.
Selma Blair and Labrinth for Gap Icons. Courtesy

Gap also invited artists to redesign the logo featured on its classic hoodie with submissions for the metaverse activation closing Sept. 27. Consumers will vote on the Gap Logo Remix early next month, and winners will be announced Oct. 12. The top three styles will be made into both physical hoodies and NFTs sold on Gap.com, and their creators awarded cash prizes from $5,000 to $10,000.

Gap previously released gamified NFT collections with Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, American painter Demit Omphroy and Brandon Sines, the creator of the cartoon character Frank Ape. In July, the company teamed with French NFT company Dogami to create NFT wearables for dog avatars and opened a Gap Teen store within the Club Roblox universe.

The collection’s release comes on the heels of promises by interim CEO Bobby Martin to “take action” to “change the trajectory of [the] business” after reporting unfavorable Q2 earnings last month. “Increased cost pressures,” as well as assortment issues, contributed to the brand’s 10 percent sales decline, he said.

Chief financial officer Katrina O’Connell said that Gap is working to pivot away from the pandemic’s loungewear staples toward more office-appropriate garb. Consumers want to “spend more on things like dresses, pants, even dressier denim and woven tops, things that she can wear out to parties or to work,” she added.