Behind the Designs – Gap Denim Through the Decades

by Summer Schiavone, Senior Manager, Communications

Gap

August 23, 2019

This past week was Gap’s 50th anniversary. To celebrate the milestone, our product teams turned back time (bonus points if you picked up on this Cher reference from 1989!) for a special collection that’s rooted in what we’re best known for – denim. They drew inspiration from the Archives and designed Denim Through the Decades, a limited-edition, elevated denim capsule that features adult denim product from different decades in Gap’s history. It is sure to have your #ThrowbackThursday moments covered for the ‘70s, ‘80s, and the ‘90s.

Denim designers, Madeline Rakosky and Kevin Hwang, shared their inspiration behind the design and how the full assortment, which hit online + US Specialty stores earlier this week, came to life.

1970s: Pioneer Denim 
The ‘70s had a flair for flare jeans and this came to life in a modern way with a men’s bootcut and women’s vintage flare with heritage design details, paired back to a cord-collar icon denim jacket. Basically, the western pioneer outfit of your psychedelic ‘70s dreams. 

“The pockets in our 70s collection came directly from our archival product and the ‘pick a pocket’ campaign. The team worked together to match the labeling and packaging as much as possible. The research was really fun to work through and bring to life in a new way.” - Madeline Rakosky 

1980s: Workforce denim 
The ‘80s workforce collection is back, even better than the first. The team went all out to bring back archival marketing and garment tags for heavy-duty chore jackets, high rise wide leg carpenter jeans and pleated denim jackets. 

“We wanted to think about how we could get our customer excited to buy this as a special showcase. More premium fabrics, new trim and special marketing tags elevate the everyday with a nod to our heritage.” Kevin Hwang 

1990s: Gap Originals 
The ease of the ‘90s made the Easy Fit THE trend of the decade. Oversized and big shoulders were the theme of the times for jackets and tops. Fun fact – the design team brought back a version of this cropped denim jacket for women and named it “the Cindy jacket”. Word on the street is that it’s the HQ favorite already! 

“Fit wise, we didn’t copy exactly from the Archive because we wanted to make it modern. For instance, the Easy Fit still incorporates the high rise and taper leg, but we made subtle adjustments to the inseam so that you can fold and wear them with sneakers. It’s a modern version of your dad’s jeans.” - Kevin Hwang  

Be sure to shop the collection before it’s gone!

 

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