The 2021 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Gala event saw Gap Inc. team up with gold medal athletes and Athleta brand partners Simone Biles and Allyson Felix for their red-carpet debuts.
The theme for the annual event was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” where Gap looked to showcase inclusivity. Biles and Felix were joined by Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap, who wore a custom Gap x Brother Vellies piece, a modern take on Gap’s iconic white shirt designed by Jane Pattinson, Gap’s head of design and Aurora James, founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge and founder and creative director of Brother Vellies.
Biles wore a head-to-toe look couture piece made in collaboration by AREA and Athleta, featuring embroidered feathers trailing behind a sheer bodysuit and included crystal chis – a nod to Athleta’s logo. The piece took inspiration from Bile’s record-breaking achievements and perseverance and looked to exude performance, strength and beauty.
Felix, meanwhile, was seen wearing a Fendi Couture creation by artistic director Kim Jones. The gown was from his second couture show for FENDI, a collection inspired by the city of Rome.
Furthermore, in honor of Biles’s and Felix’s passion for empowering women and girls, Athleta donated $50,000 to The Power of She Fund to empower individuals and communities of women and girls and help them reach their full potential.
The event collaboration between Gap Inc. and Aurora James plays as an extension of Gap Inc.‘s partnership and pledge to use their financial power to create more equitable industries and profit structures.
“As we approach the one-year mark of a pandemic that has decimated Black businesses and communities, it is crucial that companies step up to create economic opportunities for Black people at every level of the workforce,” said James in a company statement back in February 2021. “Committing to the Pledge is not a band-aid solution — it requires a comprehensive re-evaluation of business as usual, and we are thrilled that Gap Inc. is partnering with us to drive racial equity across retail.”
As part of its commitment, Gap has pledged to increase its pipeline programs by 15 percent to drive access and opportunity for the Black community within the Gap Inc. family of brands starting with early empowerment programs, including internship, externship, apprenticeship and training.