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Seen on Screen: Gap misses the boot

December 15, 2009 | 11:32 am


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.