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Gap ridiculed for tweet showing half-blue, half-red hoodie as a call for national unity

November 4, 2020, 7:57 PM UTC

“Read the room,” wrote one Twitter user. “Gap honey please don’t,” tweeted another. Meanwhile food blogger and model Chrissy Teigen simply tweeted, “yay we can just walk sideways depending on the city we’re in.”

The object of wide derision was a tweet on Wednesday afternoon by fashion brand Gap which showed a half-red, half-blue hoodie bearing its logo with the caption, “The one thing we know, is that together, we can move forward.” Anyone clicking the clip would see the garment being zipped up. (Some of the harsher sartorial critics noted that the two halves of the letter A in GAP didn’t line up when the hoodie was zipped up, and one even compared it to a court jester’s outfit.)

A Gap tweet, since deleted, showing a red and blue zippered hoodie with the caption, “The one thing we know, is that together, we can move forward.”
Gap, Inc.

Coming as the country was still on tenterhooks on Wednesday afternoon, and with nerves raw waiting to see who would win the U.S. presidential election amid threats of lawsuits and blocked recounts abounding, the tweet was poorly received and quickly deleted by Gap.

“From the start we have been a brand that bridges the gap between individuals, cultures, and generations. The intention of our social media post, that featured a red and blue hoodie, was to show the power of unity. It was just too soon for this message. We remain optimistic that our country will come together to drive positive change for all,” Gap said in a statement.

Gap is trying to execute a comeback and rebuild its relevance with customers after years of withering. That includes an upcoming collaboration with onetime presidential candidate Kanye West.

But the hoodie, which was not for sale, is a reminder to brands of the pitfalls of wading into tense political situations however innocuously they may think they are doing so, particularly with facile slogans and greeting-card sentiments. That is especially hazardous with election results that show how divided Americans are, how contentious the finalization of results may yet be, and how complex national reconciliation will be.