With the 2020 election picking up and public interest at wide-ranging extremes, the generational gap has never felt so relevant. Since its founding in 1969, Gap, has sought to unite older, postwar conservatives and the emerging activist generation (now the baby boomers) with a quintessentially American style. 50 years later, the brand is continuing its legacy with the launch of its fall campaign, "It's Our Denim Now." The campaign combines the talents of photographer Tyler Mitchell, director Fleur Fortuné, and Canadan singer Ndidi O to "underscore the brand’s long history of bridging gaps and bringing people together, even in divided times, while also inspiring today’s generation to pave a path forward together."
The campaign also debuts several new offerings, including the High Rise Cigarette pant and the men's Skinny, using GapFlex flexible material. Mitchell highlights a diverse range of models for the shoot, retooling his naturalistic style for Gap's classic, straightforward look. The emphasis on representation throughout the campaign stays true to the brand's message of unity, expanding the umbrella of who defines the American staple.
On August 20, Gap also plans to release its Denim Through Decades collection, celebrating 50 years of evolving (and recycling) denim styles. Featuring trends from the '70s, '80s, and '90s with a modern twist, the limited-edition series showcases Gap's rich history in molding American style through ubiquitous pieces. The 1969 Premium collection will also include merchandise like logo hoodies, T-shirts, and jackets alongside the upscale denim.
"Fall is momentous for Gap as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and a new era of the brand," said Alegra O'Hare, the brand’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "With ‘It’s Our Denim Now’ being my first major campaign, we wanted to make an impactful statement visually and celebrate Gap’s heritage as a denim leader while cementing its future as a brand for all generations. This is only the beginning of what’s to come."
This campaign marks Gap's first collaboration with Johannes Leonardo, a creative agency that believes the label exemplifies modern American individuality and freedom of expression.
"For the film, it was important for us to show a diversity of fits and people by celebrating a generation empowered by their individuality," said Samira Ansari, the agency's Group Creative Director.
The films place plus-size models and models of color at the forefront, making a statement within an industry that still overwhelmingly favors skinny, white figures—especially for tight-fitting apparel like skinny jeans. The models playfully dance and undress in the wide range of denim before coagulating in the center, a testament to Gap's pervading message of unity through individuality. In 50 years, denim styles have come and gone and come back again, but Gap—and the tumultuous origins of its name—has endured as the purveyor of the American mainstream. With the latest collections' commitment to inclusivity, that mainstream can contain multitudes.
Watch Fleur Fortuné's campaign video here: