Donald Fisher, the retailer’s creator, conceived of The Gap when he was unable to find the correct size of blue jeans in a department store. Blue jeans had grown so popular by that time that he envisioned a store where they were the featured item. The Gap references the phrase “generation gap” from the 1960s.
Before the latter half of the 1960s, blue jeans were predominantly worn for work. They were not a typical component of everyday dress. In the late 1960s, the emerging counterculture began wearing them as a public statement against conformity. The style immediately caught on, and blue jeans became the most fashionable garment to own. Unfortunately, supply did not meet demand. Fisher and his wife decided to open a store specialising in blue jeans to meet the increasing demand for jeans. The 14 to 25-year-old demographic, whose distinct dress preferences were evolving, lacked a youth-oriented clothing market. The Fishers formed The Gap in 1969. The Gap’s signature brand of jeans is still called 1969 for this reason, and jeans remain the company’s signature product to this day.