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Seen on Screen: Gap misses the boot


When I first saw Gap's holiday ads, it wasn't the plaid shirts, skinny jeans or cozy sweaters that caught my eye. It was those boots! And apparently, I'm not alone.

The lug-sole, high-heel hiking boots with red laces have been generating a lot of chatter online, with desperate shoppers contacting Gap customer service to inquire about the boots (could they be from the infamous Pierre Hardy collection that's still M.I.A.?), and scouring Gap's sister footwear site, to no avail.

A call to Gap PR revealed that the boots aren't actually Gap at all, but Barneys Co-Op, and you can buy them in the tan color for $395 here.

Talk about missing the boot. Understandably, the Gap spokesperson said the company wishes the boots were theirs.

No kidding.

It seems pretty bone-headed (especially for an apparel company that not only makes its own shoes, but also has a sister footwear shopping site) to be styling advertisements with someone else's boots, especially in this age when consumers want to know -- and generally can find out with the click of a mouse -- every minute detail about the images they see.

Or maybe this could have been an opportunity for a struggling apparel chain and a struggling department store to join forces? A Barneys Co-Op for Gap line, for example, or Gap shoes for sale in Barneys Co-Op stores? It could have been a win-win for everyone instead of a lose-lose for shoppers like me. After all, I didn't want the tan-colored boots; I wanted the black ones in the Gap ads.

-- Booth Moore

Photo: The high-heel hiking boots featured in Gap's current holiday print and TV ad campaign have been generating online chatter among shoppers eager to procure a pair. A Gap spokesperson said they are Barneys Co-Op private label. Credit: Gap Inc.

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Those boots are so ugly!

Women are such fools for being conned out of big money, in order to be seen consuming the latest pseudo-fashion. Manufacturing phony desire for the latest thing is how capitalist wiseguys can afford to live in comfort, while the working-class drones, empowered with the phony freedom of credit cards, always fall for the con.
By the way, those dorky-looking femmes, with their "lug sole" boots and plaid shirts, look like yesterday's models for the Portland hipster look.
you can't buy fashion; it has to be in your genes (not jeans).

Seems pretty dopey. How about advertising a children's toy with key elements not a part of the product? Or a car with tires that are not available on those high performance segments? McDonalds food with condiments not available at restaurant?

I guess I'm uniquely different. My first thought was where did they get the idea for the butt-ugly boots? Oh well. And, at $395 they're even uglier.

These ads are so annoying, I change channels when they come on. Muting them is not enough. And the boots are hideous.

Bleah...they are ugly.

I thought this was going to be a posting about how annoying this ad is. And how ugly the clothes were, including the boots.

I would love to have been a fly on the wall when the Gap's ad agency did the pitch for what must be the single worst big-label holiday campaign thus far.

Believe me, there was more creativity in that B.S. session than ever made it onto the screen. I'm so glad I got out of advertising...

(And the one with the kids - I can't get to the 'mute' button fast enough and avert my eyes at the same time.)

Lord the soles of these boots are ugly. I got a way cuter pair of high-heel hiking boots from Nine West a few years ago. I think they were on sale for $39. Better deal than $395.

Loved your article. Mostly because I agree with it and just did a post on this exact subject on my blog (dedicated to women's designer boots). I had the EXACT same sentiments about what a shortsighted decision this was on the part of someone at GAP.

Fashion may be subjective, but I laugh at the folks on this thread who are trashing these boots. The thick sole is definitely on trend right now. I along with hundreds or more people and the author of this article happen to love these boots and couldn't believe GAP made such a mistake as to have ALL the models wear a boot that was not from the GAP. Not only that, tons of people who wrote GAP customer service actually got replies saying the boots were the models' own boots or were a "private" label not to be revealed.

I agree, this was a lost opportunity for GAP, Barneys and whomever manufactured these way cool boots.

they have similar boots at the The Heidkr├╝ger Boots, if you just switched the laces.


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