Gap Inc.

September 22, 2022

THE MOMENT: Design Sprint,  Lower East Side Girls Club,  August 2022 
WHAT MATTERED: Fostering creativity in the communities we serve!

Our hearts and minds recharged as we got our craft on with the Lower East Side Girls Club as part of our Latinx Heritage Month Coast-to-Coast Tour. The community activation, co-hosted by Gap Inc.’s Equality & Belonging team and Create With Audacity, took over the club’s art studio and ignited the creative spirits of high school and first-year college students. 

The girls elevated product like jean jackets, baseball caps, and totes, guided by designers from Old Navy, Gap, and Athleta. In 90 jam-packed minutes: Swatches were cut. Patches were ironed. Beads were glued. Paint was applied. But most importantly, big impressions were left on both sides of the aisle.  

Scroll for our team’s POVs and peek at moments from the sprint. 

“There was a young woman who designed her jacket to represent her family. Each patch stood for someone who passed or someone special to her. It was amazing to see her literally wear her roots.  
 
It’s important to continue public-private partnerships like this to bring to life innovative ideas and influence the next generation. Gap Inc.’s always seeking diversity of approach, diversity of talent, diversity of thought. We only find these answers when we bring in the communities that we do business with.” Lorna Contreras-Townsend, Sr. Manager, Workforce Diversity 

“A lot of what I do is digital, so it was invigorating to see the girls get in there, get their hands dirty and just make something with no limit. Rather than ironing a full patch, one of the girls cut the patch into different shapes. Another girl used the trim of a jean bottom and glued it as shoulder fringe. I’m a designer for Gap Outlet; we’re always trying to come up with creative solutions to keep costs low, so l loved how they used new approaches for existing parts. Meg Carlee, Sr. Designer, Gap 

“I usually turn to nature for design inspiration. Like at Central Park for example, I sit at the duck pond and people-watch to look for patterns and see what everyone’s wearing that day. It was the same at the sprint. I noticed the girls gravitate to the patches and the letters to spell their names. Personalization seems to be popular and something I’d love to incorporate at Gap.”  Jenna Raffel, Assistant Designer, Gap 

“I loved how open and authentic the event was. As an adult, you’re a perfectionist, you don’t want to do anything unless you’re great at it. The girls were ready to try anything on a whim. One of them had trouble with patternmaking so we tried to problem-solve the best way together and kept experimenting with different approaches. It was okay if it didn’t work out the first, second, or third time. I realized if I would apply this approach to my personal life, as an ‘adult’, not giving up and experimenting—getting messy, I’d probably enjoy a lot more hobbies.” Melinda Mann, Concept Designer, Trend Forecaster, Old Navy 

“It was so much fun. I was inspired by how thoughtful the girls were about every element. I’m very impressed with how they coordinated colors, mapped out their designs, and created pieces that were very considered. They looked like pros! It was also nice to see the sense of community at the club. Some of the girls and instructors have been members for a long time. Now I’m reflecting on my own life—how can I be a part of a community too?” Bea Nam, Sr. Design Director, Athleta 

“Everyone was in the moment. It was so therapeutic to decompress and let your mind explore without having expectations. I think that’s what Create with Audacity is about, experiencing something new, drawing on those experiences and bringing it to your work. I think that’s what happened here. Stacy Mulligan, Sr. Graphic Designer, Gap

In the NYC area? Check out the girls’ beautiful creations on display at Gap Times Square through October 15, 2022. 

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