Gap’s 90s-era TV spots were perfect. Through (catchy AF) song and dance, the all-American, California-born brand had our elementary-school selves obsessed with #normcore. We hummed “Mellow Yellow” in tune with Rashida Jones and co. We begged our parents to shell out for puffy orange vests and Gap-emblazoned sweatshirts. We wore the spoils of our efforts with pride.
Then something switched. We entered high school and, for better or worse, a period of style experimentation. Meanwhile, Gap changed its strategy and its logos. It even changed the font on those iconic sweatshirts. Its public was not pleased. Over the past few years, the brand has faltered quite a bit, shuttering close to a quarter of its North American locations and cutting a slew of executives and salespeople in order to “restore the brand and get it back on track.”
Now, much like our closets, Gap is going back to its 90s roots. OG Gap fans (like 44th POTUS Barack Obama) will be pleased to hear that Gap’s latest, limited-edition collection — dubbed “the 90s Archive Re-Issue” — features all those iconic 90s styles that tragically fell to the wayside. Among them the timeless Pocket Tee, the gym-chic Sleeveless Tee, the Pleat Front Khaki (somewhere, Barack just giggled with glee), the perfectly Oversized Icon Jacket, the Henley Bodysuit, the Jerry Seinfeld-beloved Mock Neck and, of course, the Reverse Fit and Easy Fit Denim jeans.
And that’s not all. Accompanying the archival collection is a reboot of those classic ensemble ads, entitled “Generation Gap.” In the spot, models take turns singing an a cappella version of the 1992 Billboard hit “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd. Needless to say, the promo is total Gap gold. It’s “Mellow Yellow” meets “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” meets “Just Can’t Get Enough,” but with a modern twist: These aren’t just any models. They’re the children of celebs who fronted some of the more iconic 90s Gap campaigns.
Lizzy Jagger, daughter of Jerry Hall, wears the classic black Bodysuit that her mom flaunted back in 1991. Rumer Willis, channeling her mom Demi Moore, sports a Cropped Denim Jacket. Chelsea Tyler, daughter of Steven Tyler, wears Easy Fit Jeans straight out of her dad’s 1997 TV spot. Joining Lizzy, Rumer, Chelsea and more talented A-list progeny is Naomi Campbell, who rocks the same outfit she wore for her Steven Meisel-lensed shoot 20 years prior.
“It was so much more special than just a really cool job opportunity and a great project to be a part of,” said Chelsea of the experience. “Growing up, those ads were just so embedded in my brain. There aren’t very many things that I’ll get to do in my life span that I’m not just doing because I’m Steven Tyler’s daughter, but actually for myself. This is something that my dad and I both get to share and have as a common experience. He was so excited when I got the call because him and Joe [Perry] doing those ads is such a special memory for him. Knowing that he was there — had his feet on that stage first — made the experience that much richer.”
Chelsea, in addition to modeling, DJs and sings alongside her husband Jon Foster. Together, the two form electronic soul duo Kaneholler. Chelsea describes her off-duty style as very functional. “I am very much a jeans and T-shirt gal.” When asked which jeans and tees, specifically, Chelsea answers (in total earnest, of course), “Easy Fit Gap jeans have always been a staple for me. And that’s actually very true. They’ve been a go-to for a long time.” If those aren’t around, the Los Angeles-based artist will turn to a good pair of Levi’s sourced from Buffalo Exchange. Her go-to pairing is a Harley-Davidson tee, mom jeans and Converse.
She likes her sneakers, though her dad’s all for her getting more experimental with her footwear. “I think that my dad’s got the coolest style, but when it comes to buying things for his daughters, it’s hilarious because he buys what he would wear if he was a woman. I’m not really into high heels or crazy fancy stuff. I mean, I love good shoes, but I definitely wear flats most of the time. And for a recent birthday he got me these giant, 9-inch, fur-covered stilettos and it just stands out in my memory as like, ‘What on earth are you doing?!’ And I’m sure half the people reading this are gonna kick me and be like, ‘Those sound amazing, you asshole.’ I gotta work on my ankle strength, I guess.”
But we digress. Another Gap piece Chelsea will be resurrecting is our aforementioned elementary-school staple. “I really like the Gap sweatshirt. The ones that just say ‘Gap’ straight across the front. I think that’s probably a nostalgia thing more than anything. That was everywhere when I was growing up — in middle school and high school that was the go-to. I’m a sucker for nostalgia and I’m really glad that one’s coming back.” (Logomania strikes again.)
The nostalgia-filled range will be available in select Gap stores globally and via the brand’s e-commerce site starting February 7. Scroll through the slideshow below for a preview.
All Images: Courtesy