Daily Inspiration

What’s inspiring me today.

Classic Gap Ad Campaigns.

Image: The Inspiration Room

The year was 1998 and I was a sophomore freshman in college. Gap launched a series of dance-focused commercials that lasted a few years; swing, soul, groove, country, rock and – my favorite – their interpretation of a few West Side Story song and dance numbers (Are You A Jean or A Khaki? & When You’re A Khaki).

I was majoring in Textiles & Clothing Marketing and had already decided that I wanted to work for Gap Inc. Not because I was partial to their clothing but because Mickey Drexler was at the helm and I absolutely idolized him (he’s now the CEO of J Crew). I read a Fortune magazine interview titled “Gap Gets It,” and decided I had to work for him. By the time I had graduated and managed to get in for an interview at Gap (an assistant merchandiser position at Old Navy) he was on his way out, and Gap lacked a lot of the allure it had just a few years earlier.

In the next five years I would go in to interview two more times and each time I was underwhelmed. I have friends and coworkers who have worked for Gap Inc. and some who worked under Drexler. “He was a micro-manager but he was brilliant,” most of them say.

Now, at 29, I am devising a plan to land an interview at J Crew……

Khakis In Swing
Are You A Jean Or A Khaki? Please forgive the quality on this one!

Khaki A Go-Go

Khaki Country

Gap went on to totally rape one of the best dance scenes in musical history, featuring Audrey Hepburn. It still pisses me off! The commercial and original are below. Also, Funny Face is the best Hepburn movie.

And, a bit of trivia here…..the director of Funny Face was firm about Hepburn wearing the white socks shown in this scene. She hated the way it looked and was upset about being forced to wear them. After they had finished filming she accepted the fact that the socks were key, as they broke up the black in her outfit and allowed the viewer to see the movement of her legs in the dark, smoky scene.

The Skinny Black Pant
Funny Face

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2 Responses to “Daily Inspiration”

  1. funnyface Says:

    I was sort of irritated at that Audrey Gap campaign as well. (Funny Face IS where I got my screenname after all)

  2. SerendipitousTrout Says:

    Oooh you’re a girl after my own heart! I loved those gap ads! Also, if you ever, ever get a job at J.Crew you must share immediately how you did it! I’m going into public relations and that would be my dream job. Nice post!

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