Closing the Gap


Few merchandizing efforts have been as insidiously destructive as that perpetrated by the corporate empire behind The Gap and Banana Republic. As we enter the new millenium, we not only find ourselves using words like "millennium" with a certain self-important tone, more dismaying, we are marching into the year 2000 wearing identical uniforms of khaki, denim, and icky synthetic separates, all overpriced by about 300% and scrupulously devoid of frills or color. In fact, the unspoken credo of Gap and Banana Republic consumers (or addicts, as we say in our Program) is: "I am terrified of color." "But I don’t like bright colors!" the defensive addict may whine,dressed from head to toe in shades of beige and tan. And he or she may not be actually be lying: the Gap aesthetic has been in effect for so long that anything outside the neutral spectrum featured in the stores’ bland window displays, may seem jarring—almostrude—by comparison. The most successful cure, study has shown, is a 12-step program in which the addict first admits to being helplessly enslaved by khaki. When the addict craves the safety of shopping at the Gap and Banana Republic, he or she can find relief by turning their will over to a higher power—like Sears, or even Macy’s.


Update: Nice Try

In a surprise tactical move, The Gap appears to be trying to substantiate the old adage about Answered Prayers.  Their  spring collection  has broken out like a plague, blinding consumers with a rainbow of  hues too sickening  to be viewed en masse without causing a migraine.  Lame, pseudo-retro  capris and matching  cropped jackets come in  bright clashing colors designed to send  shoppers screaming for ocular refuge. In other words,  consumers will be so grateful when  the Gap’s shelves are once again stocked with  the non-shades that made the company a household word, that they’ll buy  as many new items in "stone" or  "sandblast"  as their Pilates-toned arms can carry.  Nice try, Gap Strategists, but we aren’t fooled.


In Closing

Notwithstanding any further  devious moves by  The Gap and Banana Republic,  we in the Program are determined to practice our Steps, and to clothe ourselves in styles of our own devising. We will no longer heed commands like  "Everybody in Leather",  aware as we are that Hitler also wore khaki.