January 14, 2022
The Gap has been leading fashion trends for decades, but the chain clearly wants to get back to that spot. In its most recent move in a more fashionable direction, the apparel retailer has announced it’s branching out into trending tech in collaboration with a big name in contemporary art.
On January 13, Gap launched its first “drop” of a collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs) created in collaboration with artist Brandon Sines, according to a Press release. NFTs are made available through a blockchain called Tezos (which claims to be more environmentally friendly than the more popular Ethereum).
Mr. Sines is the pop artist responsible for the frank monkey character, which he painted on murals all over New York City, and appeared in the Guggenheim Museum.
NFT emerged as a way to enable art collecting in the digital world. By transforming a digital image into an NFT, an artist establishes the NFT as the original version of the work, saved 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 recently taken other steps in an attempt to reestablish a hip brand identity.
The retailer has seen commercial success with the Yeezy by Gap line and expects the brand to generate $1 billion in annual sales as early as next year. Chain fall his first commercial for the Yeezy by Gap line this week.
CEO Sonia Syngal told analysts on the third quarter of Gap Inc. earnings call in November that the Yeezy line’s “Perfect Hoodie” “generated the most single-day sales per item in gap.com history.”
“With over 70% of Yeezy Gap customers buying from us for the first time, this partnership unleashes the power of a new audience for Gap, Gen Z and Gen X men from diverse backgrounds,” said declared Mrs. Syngal.
Gap, which began collaborating with Kanye West in 2020, recently announcement that he would tap high-end fashion house Balenciaga to develop a product line with the rapper that will launch in June.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think the steps taken by Gap can become a cool brand again? What more could Gap do to capitalize on the attention it receives from these moves?
“This strategy is a foundation, but a lot needs to be built on this foundation to make it worthwhile.”