Will NFTs, Kanye West and high-fashion collabs help Gap get its groove back?
It has been decades since Gap drove fashion trends, but the chain clearly wants to get back to that place. In its most recent move in a more fashionable direction, the apparel retailer announced that it is getting in on trending technology in collaboration with a huge name in contemporary art.
On January 13, Gap launched its first “drop” of a collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created in conjunction with artist Brandon Sines, according to a press release. The NFTs are being made available through a blockchain called Tezos (which purports to be more environmentally sound than the more popular Ethereum).
Mr. Sines is the pop artist responsible for the Frank Ape character, which he has painted on murals throughout New York City, and has appeared in the Guggenheim Museum.
NFTs have emerged as a way to allow for art collecting in the digital world. By turning a digital image into an NFT, an artist establishes the NFT as the original version of the work, logged on a blockchain. The creator can then sell the NFT, which retains its value even if the image itself is otherwise copied and redistributed.
Gap has been making other moves recently to try to reestablish a hip brand identity.
The retailer has enjoyed sales success with Yeezy by Gap line and expects the brand to generate $1 billion in annual sales as early as next year. The chain dropped its first commercial for the Yeezy by Gap line this week.
CEO Sonia Syngal told analysts on Gap Inc.’s third quarter earnings call in November that the “Perfect Hoodie” from the Yeezy line “delivered the most sales by an item in a single day in gap.com history.”
“With over 70 percent of the Yeezy Gap customers shopping with us for the first time, this partnership is unlocking the power of a new audience for Gap, Gen Z plus Gen X men from diverse background(s),” said Ms. Syngal.
Gap, which began its collaboration with Kanye West in 2020, recently announced that it would bring in high-end fashion house Balenciaga to develop a product line with the rapper that will launch this June.
- Gap Launches Gamified Collectible NFT Experience to Activate Community, Creativity and Self-Expression – Gap Inc.
- Frank Ape – Frank Ape
- NFTs, explained – The Verge
- ‘You can gain everything and you can lose everything’ — here’s why experts remain skeptical about the NFT market – CNBC
- Gap (GPS) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
- Ye Releases “Heaven and Hell” Music Video, Yeezy Gap Debuts TV Commercial and Launches Hoodie Globally – Gap Inc.
- Kanye West – Heaven and Hell – YouTube
- Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga – Gap Inc.
- How To Get Your Hands On The Balenciaga X Yeezy Gap Collab In The UK – Bustle
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the steps Gap has been taking can make it a cool brand again? What more could Gap do to capitalize on the attention it gets from these moves?