Threadless x GAP Invades A Mall Near You

It looks like Threadless has scored yet another major partnership. In 2010 they hooked up with Thermos and Target Stores nationwide. This year they’ve partnered with GAP and have invaded malls across the United States. I’m sure that this is a huge deal for Threadless that will indeed add nicely to their bottom line. However, I don’t know how I feel about this.

By doing this it’s as if Threadless is losing that element of exclusivity that made them special for me. Or maybe they’ve already lost that exclusive element and I’ve just been ignorant to it. It no longer is the case that you need to be in the know when it comes to Threadless. With the new GAP partnership, any Tom, Dick, and Jane can walk into one of the 3,248 GAP stores spread across the United States and pick up a Threadless T-Shirt.

Of course, this is great for the designers and the exposure that they will be receiving. It must be a seriously cool feeling to walk into a GAP store and see your hard work on display. However, is Threadless spreading itself too thin? Do they risk becoming another Quicksilver, Hurley, or Billabong? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with Quicksilver, Hurley, and Billabong. Except my mom knows about each of those brands. Heck, my grandma probably does too. They aren’t exclusive brands like, or maybe how, Threadless used to be. Maybe Threadless has grown and no longer wants to be a niche brand that caters to the small crowd of artists and designers littering the Internet. Maybe Threadless wants world domination. Whatever it is, I just hope that Threadless tees never end up on a shelf at my local Wal-Mart. That, my friends, would be fucked up.

With that said…where’s the nearest GAP?


  1. says

    Thanks for the post Coty! One thing to point out is that we really went out of our way with this partnership to ensure that the same designs at Gap are not available at Threadless and that designs you buy at Threadless are not available at Gap. This was really important to me for two main reasons…

    1) Threadless tees are really special for our core customers and they don’t necessarily want them widely available everywhere.

    2) When a partnership results in printing more designs that wouldn’t be printed otherwise rather than just reprinting designs for partners that we already sell on our own, it means more opportunities for more artists.

    We think that our mission at Threadless to give the creative minds of the world more opportunities to make and sell great art actually becomes more and more meaningful as we push it out into the world in big ways.


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