Iconic Gap Ads Are Back, Baby

Photo via Getty Images

If you had asked 10-year-old me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would’ve said, 1.) a TRL VJ, 2.) a Fanta Fantana if the VJ thing fell through or 3.) a person cast in a Gap commercial. What’s that? Why yes, I did watch an unhealthy amount of television as a tween, but I turned out okay!!!

As luck would have it, MTV announced just last week that TRL is coming back (nobody cared to tell me when the VJ auditions were), I no longer care about Fantanas and, just the other day, Facebook fed me (digitally, not literally) this new Gap ad. Again, nobody cared to tell me when that was cast, but I was instantly transported back into my family’s family room, clad in board shorts and a Wet Seal top, scaldingly-hot Bagel Bites in tow (always go oven over microwave), holding my pee so I wouldn’t miss the latest Gap commercial.

I’m a fairly emotionless person but I’m tearing up at the thought of getting excited for a COMMERCIAL. ‘Twas a simpler time, one that I need to revisit right now because I’m one cold brew in, it’s Monday afternoon and it’s 2017 overall. The Edward Enninful creation above is simply delightful: It’s crisp, it’s cool and I love me a Wiz Khalifa dance break as much as the next girl, but watching it didn’t direct my feet to the nearest Gap. Nay, it plunged me head first into the deepest of YouTube black holes to unearth my favorite Gap ads of yesteryear. I still have a mild heart attack when I see a velour tracksuit for sale, but this is one aughts comeback trend I’m embracing with open arms.

Below are 15 of my favorites. I dare you not to smile or laugh-cry at how ridiculous we all used to dress and how it’s all coming back and we’re doomed to make the same mistakes again, I DARE YOU!

The Slow-Panning Boy Band-Aesthetic Ones, AKA the genius that inspired this 2017 remake.

1. Vests

LFO meets Youngstown.

2. Cords

Backstreet Boys circa “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart).”

3. Leather

Backstreet Boys circa “I Want It That Way.

The Dynamic Duo Ones

4. Madonna + Missy Elliott


5. SJP + Lenny Kravitz


6. Juliette Lewis + Daft Punk

Also cute.

7. Claire Danes + Patrick Wilson

When Carrie Mathison was but a twinkle in Claire Danes’ eye.

8. Kate Beckinsale + Orlando Bloom

Remember how in love with Orlando Bloom/jealous of Kate Beckinsale I was in 2002?

9. Audrey Hepburn + ACDC

Get it, girl.

The Khaki Ones (Yes, there were that many)

10. Khaki Swing

Very Zoot Suit Riot.

11. Khaki A Go-Go

Pretty sure whoever choreographed this was watching the same movie the Rancho Carne Toros were watching during that triumphant choreography brainstorm montage with Torrance’s voice over.

12. Khakis Rock

Clearly before everyone figured out the real way to make khakis cool is to get Rihanna to wear them literally one time.

13. Pretty Khaki

I too enjoy being a girl.

The Holiday Ad (Sorry, I know it’s August but it mustn’t be ignored.)

14. Love Train

The G.O.A.T.


15. This Shannyn Sossamon One

This is almost too cool and should be running right now because everyone’s a DJ anyway right? Also, what happened to Shannyn Sossamon? And sorry, that’s it for now because I need to watch A Knight’s Tale right this instant.

Did you have a favorite? Or am I just a weirdo? Are you wearing khakis right now?

Erica Smith

Erica Smith

Erica is the Managing Editor at Man Repeller. Her horn can pierce the sky!

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