Gap introduced a new limited edition collection for women, designed exclusively for Gap by Doo.Ri, Rodarte and Thakoon - three of the most celebrated, emerging American design labels in the industry today. The collection, named Gap Design Editions, is part of Gap's recently announced partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF), an initiative established to support and encourage new American design talent.
"Gap has a rich history of celebrating creativity and offering consumers iconic American styles. We're proud to collaborate with world class design talent like Doo.Ri, Rodarte and Thakoon to create a special collection that reflects each designer's unique vision and Gap's classic aesthetic," said Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America.
"Vogue has a long tradition of supporting young talent - in particular our local talent, to secure a brilliant future for American fashion. And Gap's Design Editions project is in the same spirit: it will give a boost to the three CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners, and bring their wonderful designs to a much bigger audience," said Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, Vogue.
In March, Gap announced a partnership with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund to introduce up-and-coming young designers to a broader audience by partnering with winners from the annual Fashion Fund competition to design special, limited edition collections for Gap. Each designer created three unique interpretations of the classic white shirt - an iconic item that has been part of Gap's heritage for more than thirty-five years. The collection will be available exclusively in flagship and top Gap adult stores in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Japan and online in the U.S. at gap.com. Items will range in price from $68 to $88. The CFDA is grateful to Gap for its support of the CVFF. This initiative not only nurtures the success of these designers - it nurtures their creativity as well, which is one of our most valued goals," said CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb.
Designer Doo-Ri Chung, winner of the 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition, attended Parsons School of Design. She worked for Geoffrey Beene and started her own label in 2003. In 2006 she won the coveted CFDA's Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear. Before earning widespread recognition and acclaim, she spent her days working out of the basement of her parents' New Jersey dry-cleaning store. Today, she's a recognized force in the fashion world with a celebrity following including fashionistas Eva Longoria and Chloe Sevigny. Doo.Ri's collection for Gap reflects her smart, clean design aesthetic, and includes a feminine shirt with a scarf drape at the neck ($68); a tailored camp shirt ($68); and a flowing, belted shirtdress ($88).
"Winning the CFDA Vogue Fashion award has been an immense honor and working with Gap is so exciting. The challenge of working with the classic Gap white shirt was really interesting from a designer's point of view. I see Gap as sort of a blank canvas - it's the go-to place if you don't have something to wear," said Doo-Ri Chung.
Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy are the creative team behind Rodarte. After deciding to pursue fashion while attending the University of California, Berkeley, they produced their first collection for fall 2005. Raised in Northern California, surrounded by redwood trees, the relationship they witnessed between trees and shadows has greatly influenced their work today. They've won an Ecco Domani award and were recognized as a runner-up in the 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition. Rodarte has received rave reviews from the press and consumers alike and fashion icons like Cate Blanchett and Zooey Deschanel call themselves fans. Reflecting Rodarte's trademark whimsy and self-proclaimed obsession with bows, their collection for Gap features a sleeveless blouse adorned with bows around the neckline ($78); a trapeze sleeveless top ($68); and a trapeze mini-dress with front pockets and bow detail ($88).
"Working with something like a classic white Gap shirt, which is something that everyone can identify with, and being able to offer something that's part of us that will reach more people through Gap is an exciting idea. It is a perfect marriage," said Kate Mulleavy.
Born in Thailand and raised in Omaha, Neb., Thakoon Panichgul's playful designs are charmed with sweet, offbeat details while embodying elements of classic American sportswear. He received his formal fashion education from Parsons School of Design, produced his first collection for fall 2004, and was runner-up in the 2006 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition. Thakoon's pretty and witty design aesthetic has helped him develop a loyal celebrity fan base of fashion trendsetters including Rachel Bilson, Amanda Peet and Demi Moore. Featuring a tie-neck blouse with puffed sleeves ($88), a belted shirtdress with puffed sleeves ($88), and a shirtdress with ruffle detail at the waist ($88),Thakoon's collection for Gap will help bring his style and sensibility to everyday consumers.
"There's such a classic coolness that comes with Gap. I think that, for me, to be involved in that kind of aesthetic, on that kind of scale, is really cool," said Thakoon Panichgul.
To celebrate the launch of Gap Design Editions, Gap is introducing a print campaign developed by Laird+Parnters and shot by acclaimed fashion photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. The black and white photos capture Doo-Ri Chung, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and Thakoon Panichgul in intimate portraits alongside models Stella Tennant, Liya Kebede and Carmen Kass. Each model is featured in one of Gap's limited edition white shirts. In other portraits from the series Stella, Liya and Carmen are photographed together, wearing a different interpretation of Doo.Ri, Rodarte, and Thakoon's designs. The portraits will be featured in select Gap stores nationwide, as well as in print and outdoor ads in select markets.
Gap is also partnering with the CFDA and Vogue to host an exclusive event in New York City on April 17, 2007. The event will be co-hosted by Vogue editors Virginia Smith and Meredith Melling Burke and held at The Bowery Hotel. Doo-Ri Chung, Kate and Laura Mulleavy and Thakoon Panichgul will be honored at the event.
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund holds an annual competition that provides business mentoring and financial awards to emerging fashion designers. Since its inception in 2003, the program has granted nearly $1 million to nine different design concerns, including Derek Lam, Proenza Schouler and Thom Browne.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading international specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Forth & Towne and Piperlime brand names. Fiscal 2006 sales were $15.9 billion. Gap Inc. operates more than 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Ireland and Japan. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements for Gap and Banana Republic in Asia and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com