Gap Unveils First Campaign Under New Creative Director Rebekka Bay

Including the first-ever tactile fabric print ad, a collaboration with Vogue.
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Dhani Mau
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Including the first-ever tactile fabric print ad, a collaboration with Vogue.

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In December, Gap's new creative director Rebekka Bay told us about her simplified vision for the struggling (but once cool) mass retailer: “I just want to take it back, really,” she said. “I think Gap has always been the greatest iconic American casualwear brand, and that’s really what I want it to be. I want to own super casual, iconic pieces and be the go-to brand for the wardrobe -- almost like building blocks.”

So it comes as no surprise that the spring campaign -- the first under her direction -- is as casual and pared-back as we've seen from Gap since the '90s, Gap's heyday.

While the casting and format -- young celebrities and artists shot portrait-style by David Sims -- are similar to seasons past, the colors are more washed-out and the clothes more simple and casual, including lots of denim. In fact, you barely notice the clothes at all, which is the point. The campaign, titled "Lived-In," is meant to feel authentic, like the subjects are just wearing their own everyday clothing.

“For spring, we’ve recognized the brand’s iconic pieces -- khakis, denim and tees -- as the focal points, and through the feel of the fabric and shade of colors, brought ‘Lived-In’ to life through design,” said Bay of the clothes used in the campaign.

While the campaign may be casual, Gap is getting a little fancy with the way it's promoting it. In the brand's second recent collaboration with a high-fashion glossy, Gap partnered with Vogue on the first-ever tactile fabric print ad for the magazine's March issue, which includes a fabric logo made from the cotton of a worn-in T-shirt.

We haven't seen (or felt) this ad yet, but it sounds pretty awesome. And if the logo feels anything like this super old, insanely soft Gap T-shirt my boyfriend has (seriously, it's amazing), it could be pretty effective.

Browse the full campaign below, featuring musician Theophilus London; English singer-songwriters Birdy and Anna Calvi; American actors RJ Mitte and Julia Garner; Swedish photographer Lina Scheynius; and American singer-songwriter and record producer Ernest Greene (aka Washed Out).