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Can you get any more classic American than Gap? Apple pie, baseball and Oprah perhaps? Gap has been shaping denim trends and pioneering Uncle Sam’s laid back preppy look since it first launched in 1969.

We couldn’t think of a better brand to open our Mode denim special than one of the most tried and trusted names in denim. The timing is right, too: Gap are showcasing their SS16 collection, which is rooted in denim style essentials, swerving seamlessly from dark to sky-blue washes and from skinny to wide leg shapes. It also embraces plenty of new fabrications – there’s even patchwork for men this year. It marks a great return for the original American jean, in sync with the latest catwalk trends – think Stella McCartney, Claudia Li and Chanel. It’s a step away from those phoney “denim-ish imposters” as called them; giving mock-denim leggings belt loops doesn’t maketh a jean, apparently.

Key fits for women this season include the Crop Kick, Flare, Ankle and the “Girlfriend Chino”, a polished version of the boyfriend fit and perfectly styled with a scoop tee or tank top. The men’s range sees Skinny, Slim and Straight as the key fits in strong, original and authentic denims. And that’s just the jeans.

To show you how Gap has developed throughout the years, we’re devised a timeline of the all-American brand.

1969: First store opens in San Francisco, the country’s counter-culture capital, by Donald G Fisher.

1976: Fitted flared French-cut jeans inspired by Charlie’s Angels.

1978: Punk-inspired drainpipes were an expression of fashion anarchy – slashed, distressed and pinned together.

1984: The movie Footloose inspires Gap to create loose fitting styles that are easy to dance in.

1992: US Vogue’s 100th anniversary cover features supermodels in Gap white denim.

2003: Madonna and Missy Elliot wear Gap’s low-rise cropped jeans – reconnecting the brand with music.

2009: The launch of Gap 1969 Jeans with a renewed take on fit, wash and fabric.

2014: Gap celebrates its 45th birthday. Black denim takes centre stage in the 2014 collection with the modern professional in mind.

2016: Gap launches its “Recycle your Blues” initiative, encouraging people to swap old jeans for vouchers. In the UAE and Kuwait, 3,300 pieces were collected.

Find the new collection in Gap stores across the UAE now.

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