Gap and Palace Take on ’90s Skate Culture

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Gap is in its nostalgic era.

The retailer announced Monday that it is partnering with London-based skate label Palace on a collection of adult and children’s apparel launching March 22. The collection is an “ode to the brands’ shared heritage—highlighting self-expression, individuality, and community through pieces inspired by ’90s style, skate culture, and a love for San Francisco,” Gap stated in a release.

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“We love collaborating with partners like Palace who are able to tap into our heritage and reinvent our product icons in a way that is true to their brand DNA,” said Mark Breitbard, Gap president and CEO. “Palace is playing by their own rules and we are inspired by their craft. This partnership reflects style and skate culture of the moment, and we are excited for customers to experience this unique expression of Gap.”

Founded in 2009 by Lev Tanju and Gareth Skewis, Palace has become a staple in skate culture with its streetwear references. Gap said the brand’s ’90s aesthetic “seamlessly plays into Gap’s heritage.” The brand has previously collaborated with Thrasher, Evisu, Umbro, Harrods, Arc’teryx and more. In 2018, Palace teamed with Ralph Lauren on a line of patchwork rugby shirts, corduroy puffer coats and knits with a skateboarding Polo Bear.

The partnership with Gap marks Palace’s first foray into kids’ products, however, allowing for mini-me styling.

The 55-piece Gap x Palace collection includes a varsity jacket, oxford shirts, pullover windbreaker, logo rugby shirt, track suits, board shorts, cargo pants, T-shirts and logo hoodies. The collection also includes three exclusive logo skate decks and a limited-edition Jeremy Duck—Palace’s mascot—plush toy. Many styles combine Gap’s collegiate font with Palace’s logo.

“Collaborating with Gap made sense because a lot of us grew up skating in Gap gear in the 1990s,” Tanju said. “Gap is so cool to us: clean, preppy, and all about the good American things like everyone being welcome. Gap put out so much iconic content in the era before it was called content and it’s been a real privilege for us to play in that space with them. And doing our first ever kids’ collection with Gap—who make the best kids’ clothes—is really special for us.”

Kids’ varsity jacket
Kids’ varsity jacket

The campaign for the collaboration is reminiscent of the VHS-style aesthetic for which Palace has become known. Doubling-down on the ’90s nostalgia, it features “Sporty Spice” Spice Girl, Melanie C.

It includes a 90-second film follows a day in the life of young skaters in San Francisco. Skate legends Karl Watson, Elissa Steamer, and Tommy Guerrero, and Palace skaters Kanin Garner, Jamal Smith, Heitor Da Silva, and Jahmir Brown make an appearance. The campaign also includes 9-year-old professional skateboarder Anna Shea.