Dear New CEO Of The Gap: A Few Tips From People Who Wear Clothes

Illustration for article titled Dear New CEO Of The Gap: A Few Tips From People Who Wear Clothes

Dear new Gap CEO Glenn Murphy,
Happy first day on the job! Soooo, your company's a piece of shit, and the industry seems reeeeallly confident in your ability to turn things around. NOT! To quote the New York Post's "insider" (we're sure she didn't mean to misspell your name!) you don't know an "armhole from a sock." "It's not like they're picking a marquee guy out of the apparel world," one guy told the Wall Street Journal, although as another put it, there's an "acute dearth of talent" in the apparel retailing world. Um, because they all work at H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters and Forever 21? Anyway, we realize you've never worked in apparel before, not that you could really tell that the Gap was run by anyone who had ever worked in apparel before before, but you can use all the help you can get. Which is just what we're here for! A few tips we culled together, after conducting a highly scientific focus group of twentysomething ladies who stopped shopping at the Gap sometime back in the "pleather" era.

  • Stop paying celebrities whose careers so distinctly encapsulate your precise brand of we-can't-even-believe-we're -still-doing-this desperation. (Hint: LIZ PHAIR.) You have this knack for attaching to someone at the precise point at which their shark-jumping abilities have caused us (like Peter the Apostle!) to deny we ever even cared about them and plastering our sightlines with their dumb overly-trained bodies in your godawful khakis, generally alongside celebrities whose blandness-that-inexplicably-passes-for-"edginess" (Joss Stone) makes us question our taste EVEN MORE. On second thought, why not stop paying celebrities in the first place and pass the savings onto us! Or, you know, your child laborers.
  • Pretend like some of your customers are not shapeless lesbians, and tailor your clothes according to the dimensions of their bodies. This may require actually designing some of your clothes once in awhile and not leaving all the work to Asians who don't really get to see a lot of fat people in person because of agriculture subsidies or something. Because fat people aren't as shapeless as your clothes would have us all believe, and normal-sized people just try on your clothes and, in the words of Intern Cheryl, "look like a fat whore coming home from a one-night stand with an I-banker."
  • Stop kidding yourself. When you plaster billboards all over town acting as though you "dictate" trends (boyfriend khakis) or price a pair of 1969 jeans at $88, we just sort of shake our heads in bafflement.
  • Bring back "Om." It was, like, the poor man's CK One and in high school it got us off the Body Shop vanilla oil we used to love. Also: Grass.
  • Stay open late. The American Apparel on our block is open until, like, last call, but their refusal to use sweatshop labor means a pair of "emergency" boy shorts costs as much as a glass of good Pinot Noir, whereas we know you could supply them for the price of a Pabst.
  • More flats, please. Everyone we know has a pair of awesome cheap flats they are totally proud to say they wouldn't have found if they didn't still occasionally go into the Gap. And occasionally, we still do. Very occasionally.



I worked at the Gap flagship store in SF the couple months before law school when I had nothing to do. I loved Gap in the 90s, what with Grass and Dream and that tasty chapstick, but now I refuse to even look in the windows when I walk by the store. Being surrounded by all their poorly designed Oxford shirts and straight-up terrible denim actually convinced me that some of their stuff was worth buying. But as soon as I stopped working there, I immediately purged my wardrobe of anything Gap and dropped it all off at the Goodwill. It was like I was brainwashed into thinking that jeans that give you an enormous chode and a Grand Canyon-sized space between your lower back and the top seam when you sit down actually look good.