Gap’s Met Gala denim moment was stunning — and smart

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This year’s Met Gala, which is normally known for displaying extravagant designs from high-end labels, welcomed a handful of well-known faces, most notably The Gap Inc. Accompanied by fashion designer Zac Posen, the new creative director of the firm, actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph wore a denim-made, custom-designed gown from Gap, making a distinctive statement for the company.

Gap’s elevated profile was highlighted by the extensive media coverage and social media references around Posen’s unexpected hiring in February. But in order to make the most of this visibility, the store needs to stock up on relevant items and launch viral marketing efforts.

In light of the difficulties faced by Gap Inc. and its discount label, Old Navy, as well as the rise of online competition, the company chose Posen creative director and top designer. In the face of intense competition from budget-friendly trend-setters like Primark and Zara, as well as high-fashion partnerships with Target Corp., the decision was made to bolster the company’s reputation for style.

The appointment of Posen is symbolic of Gap’s desire to return to its 1990s glory days under the leadership of Mickey Drexler and become once again a cultural touchstone. Already, the Met Gala dress that Randolph wore for the event paid off; after the gala, Gap saw a dramatic increase in online mentions.

The denim gown, which draws inspiration from classic eveningwear but is surprisingly modern in design, fits in with Gap’s denim obsession, which is having a moment in the fashion world right now. A strong message of inclusivity is sent by Posen’s choice of Randolph, a lady with bigger figures attending her first Met Gala.

Although collaborating with celebrities is vital, Gap should also focus on its wider customer base. A smart business move that may capitalise on denim and other trends would be to produce a capsule collection inspired by Posen’s famous clothes.

New Gap CEO Richard Dickson is similarly in the early phases of his leadership, and Posen’s time at Gap is still in its infancy. Even though the company’s stock price has gone up and fourth-quarter sales were better than expected, Gap still needs to reinvigorate its brands like Athleta and Banana Republic if it wants to remain competitive in the changing retail industry. A start in the right direction, with Posen making her red carpet debut for Gap, might reinvigorate the brand’s reputation and bring in new consumers.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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