When the CEO of Gap, Inc. was looking for ways to grow business in Gap stores one approach that was explored was to develop new initiatives that departed from the core apparel product. A fledgling Gap accessories division was slowly being nurtured and under the aegis of this office non-apparel products like watches, pens, wallets, and similar small personal items were being developed and tested in stores around the country.
Tradeshow visits and trend research trips by leaders of the accessory initiative repeatedly turned up examples of boutique firms doing unique and memorable work with paper products.
The economics of developing paper products made an extensive range of product development and testing feasible and Gap paper products were rolled out in stores nationwide for two seasons before th entire new initiatives effort was scaled back to refocus on the core apparel business.
The Gap paper product line featured a wide range of merchandise including, notebooks, calendars, personal planners, spiral binders, notecards, diaries, photo frames and storage boxes.
The first season of development was anchored in a vibrant color palette and based in a spare design sensibility that referenced the clean sharp lines of artists like Kenneth Noland and Ellsworth Kelly.