A GAP In How To Manifest Destiny

Oct 5, 2012Fashion

The good old days.

Last year I wrote an article about the GAP just after they fired head designer, Patrick Robinson that went viral called, What The Gap Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love. In a matter of hours it went from my desk through the blogosphere landing squarely on the desk of the Global External Affairs, GAP, Inc. personage. The power of the internet at work. The GAP was–at least I would like to think–impressed with my observations, suggestions on how they might move forward. But what they did was ultimately romance the stoned (me) by setting up a meeting with one of their big wigs for a sit down interview. Little did I know it was just a ruse to shut me up. As nice as they all were, what it ended up being was a convoluted, extensive job of smiling while putting the kibosh on any reason for me to keep blogging about them snarkily.

This was all transpiring while the GAP was being clobbered by  the newer, hipper fast retailers opening up all around them from H & M to Zara. One of the points in my article was for the GAP to close the sadder looking stores like the one near my apartment that had more dust bunnies tumbling around than denim. That or just clean up the damn place. Another suggestion was for them to work with independent up-and-coming designers vis-a-vis Milk Made or similar, which they gladly followed suit and recently launched a project in association with GQ magazine.

It was that very project that caused the GAP a bit of weird controversy with the American-Indian community of all things. One of the indie designers, Mark McNairy, created a T-shirt that says “MANIFEST DESTINY” on it, an expression that–who would have thunk–had really horrendous roots. Specifically, Renee Roman Nose, a Native American activist wrote, “Manifest Destiny was the catch phrase which led to the genocide of millions of my people, millions of Indigenous people throughout this country.” The designer also Tweeted as part of the promotion, “MANIFEST DESTINY. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” that disappeared off the Twitter feed soon enough. Hey, we all make mistakes, but one might suggest Wikipedia-ing everything slogan on Earth prior to going to print. Maybe I should have added that in my notes to them.

Note to self: Stop spewing your brilliance around freely for free and not expect your good deeds to go unpunished. Earth to Abe.

Note to Renee Roman Nose: Wikipedia also mentions: By 1843 John Quincy Adams, a major supporter of Manifest Destiny had changed his mind and repudiated it because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas. Boy, this could not go away fast enough.

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