Let me just quickly point something out here. I really, really love the Gap. I worked for the company for like 8 years and their jeans fit me the best. Ok, so now that I’ve gotten that off my chest…
Gap’s newest ad campaign dares its customers to “Dress Normal” and everyone is pretty upset about it–feeling that the campaign is ordering them to conform to normalcy. Recently, there is a huge stigma against being normal, or basic. Its boring to be normal. But is being basic (not in the 2014 sense, but in the literal, actual, Webster’s Dictionary sense) or normal necessarily a bad thing? –fashion-wise I mean. I get it, fashion is a form of self expression and many people use their clothes as an extension of their personality. But, what if Gap created this call to action to remind people that clothing shouldn’t speak on behalf of one’s personality? Maybe Gap wanted to remind everyone out there that although clothing can accentuate your self identity, its not the only thing you should rely on. One of the ads explains, “Your actions speak louder than your clothes”. Your clothing is an extension of you, it isn’t what makes you.
In my opinion, the ad is not tell people to “conform to normalcy, have no identity!” I don’t think its that serious. What the ad said to me was, why doesnt everyone take a break from their busy, meat dress wearing schedules and put on a pair of black skinnies. Doesnt that sound refreshing? When I saw these ads, I interpreted them as a call to action to return to the basics. The staples of your wardrobe. Turns out, that’s what Gap creative director, Rebekka Bay, was trying to accomplish, as she said in GQ this month, “It is celebrating the uniform or those pieces that you gravitate to again and again, the pieces that you build your wardrobe around, the pieces that work really hard for you.” So whatever is normal for you, wear that. Its that simple. Additionally, the Global Chief marketing officer, Seth Farbman explains to Lucky Magazine that inviting customers to “dress normal” doesn’t mean the company doesn’t care about fashion. What they’re more interested in is helping customers dress like themselves.
Which I agree with, for the most part.
Lately, I feel like fashion is trending toward shock value. What is the most shocking gets the most attention. I mean, come on. Miley Cyrus wore PASTIES to a fashion week party last week. PASTIES. Shaped like ice cream cones.
Maybe Gap’s campaign is trying to swing the trend back to –gasp! People actually wearing real life clothes. Clothes that make people feel confident and like their “best selves”, not what they think will make other people feel weird. Wouldn’t that be a shocker?
What do you think?