February 27, 2009 // Franchising.com // San Francisco –– Today Gap unveiled works of original art from Rhode Island School of Design [RISD] students and faculty. Their canvas? Gap's new spring cardigan. In a unique partnership, Gap enlisted leading RISD students to deconstruct, rethink and rework its latest spring cardigans to create original pieces that reflect their own fashion point-of-view. Thirty one-of-a-kind cardigans [$68] are now available exclusively at Gap's rotating concept venue adjacent to its flagship store at 54th and 5th Ave.
"When Gap invited our students to take a fresh look at the new spring cardigans, they were only given one simple guideline: Keep them wearable," said Donna Gustavsen, head of
RISD's department of Apparel Design. "Our students responded with freshness, ingenuity and subtle surprises that are edgy, fun and inspired – a lot like the talented students who created them."
Using materials such as tulle, hand-rolled beads made from recycled paper, vintage lace, fabric dye and more, the students transformed Gap's classic cardigans into unique and bold pieces that communicate Gap's focus on the importance of individual style. The students used a variety of techniques to create these original pieces, including changing the silhouette and adding embellishments to express their unique look.
The newly revamped cardigans were created by students from a diverse range of disciplines – including printmaking, sculpture, industrial design, textiles and apparel design.
"We are thrilled to be working with this nationally acclaimed design school and are impressed with the designs the students created," said Ivy Ross, executive vice president, Gap Marketing. "Fashion is meant to spark the imagination, and these truly original cardigans express the creativity and individual styles of a very talented group of up-and-coming young designers and artists."
Meet the RISD Designers
In addition to the unique designs from RISD's top design students, Gap's original cardigans will also be available in a range of bright and bold spring colors in stripes and solids [$44].
Details about Gap's Art of the Cardigan Shop:
WHEN: Friday, February 27 through Sunday, March 22, 2009
Store Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: 680 Fifth Avenue [between 53rd and 54th Streets], New York
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has earned a worldwide reputation as the preeminent art and design college in the country. Today, with more than 26,000 alumni, the college enrolls 1,926 undergraduates and 426 graduate students from the United States and almost 50 countries, offering degree programs in the fine arts, architecture, and design disciplines, and art education. Academic programs include research and design initiatives, the exploration of art criticism and contemporary cultural concerns, as well as international exchange programs. Each year, RISD hosts prominent and accomplished artists, critics, and authors to its campus. Included within the college is The RISD Museum of Art, which houses a world-class collection of art objects from Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome and art of all periods from Asia, Europe and the Americas, as well as the latest in contemporary art.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brand names. Fiscal 2008 sales were $14.5 billion. Gap Inc. operates more than 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Ireland. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.