NYSE trading floor's casual Friday first: Gap jeans for everyone!
In what is billed as a historic first, the 1,100 or so folks working on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning will be wearing blue jeans. And not just any denim duds, mind you, but Gap's new 1969 Premium Jeans collection.
The violation of the dress code is in honor of the brand's 40th anniversary celebration, which will also include Gap's North America President Marka Hansen and members of the founding Fisher family ringing the closing bell remotely from corporate headquarters in San Francisco.
"It came about when [NYSE] asked us if we wanted to ring the bell to mark our 40th anniversary," said Ivy Ross, Gap brand's executive vice president of marketing. "And I said, we have a better idea: we want to break with tradition and have everybody on the trading floor wearing jeans."
Ivy said three days later she was setting up a table on Wall Street to sign people up for their freebie jeans (retail price starts at $54.50 to $59.50). The response, to hear her tell it, was overwhelming. "I think there's about 1,100 people on the trading floor, and in four days we had 90% signed up. By the fifth day we had 1,200. Who knows where the other 100 are going - maybe the janitors will be wearing them."
And while it may be the first time denim has been on display on the stock exchange floor, it's not the first time Gap has garbed the group -- it staged a similar promotion more than a decade ago, outfitting the then 3,500 floor traders in then-verboten Gap khakis and either blue or white button-front shirts for a "Gap at Work" casual Friday promotion on Sept. 26, 1997.
So, by my reckoning that leaves roughly a dozen years before Gap tries to lower the NYSE's dress code bar once again.
Anyone ready for the inevitable 2022 "Chairman of the Board Shorts" campaign?
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: A trader on the NYSE floor for the "Gap at Work" casual Friday promotion on Sept. 26, 1997. Gap has convinced the exchange to relax the dress code even further to mark its 40th anniversary. On Friday, traders wil be wearing denim on the floor for the first time in NYSE history. Credit:AP Photo/Gino Domenico.