Where I’m from, the brand Gap in no way ever brings to mind edgy fashion or sexy style. It’s the place for basics from t-shirts to jeans to khakis. It might have some peppy commercials or fun print campaigns, but its nowhere near the CK penchant for “Me and My Calvins” raunchy association or even the 90s junkie basement Kate Moss era of selling basics for a hip premium. So it’s pretty amusing to see the latest Gap campaign to launch in China and Hong Kong featuring Taiwan A-list actor Ethan Ruan and Japanese supermodel Fukushima Rila (who I swear is practically Japan’s Kate Moss). The campaign was shot by famed Hong King photographer and cinematographer Wing Shya, who worked set design and camera work on various Wong Kar Wai movies ranging from 2046 to Happy Together to In the Mood for Love. I’m not exactly lured to shopping at the Gap based on this ad campaign, which is shot in saturated grey blue going for a basic hipster rebel vibe. In one shot, Rila is topless and tightly pressed against Ethan and we’re supposed to focus on the jeans they are wearing. These are different and eye-catching as Gap ads go, and Ethan continues to exhibit all of his model-first training paired with award winning actor charisma. As drama and movie junkies its perhaps unfair but we always want the full package when it comes to our stars – naturally good looking, can act, and can model. Most only have one and maybe two of these three requirements, so it’s like finding a needle in the haystack to come across someone who has it all. Ethan is definitely the full package and I find myself sometimes forgetting what a fantastic actor he can be when he’s on because in real life he’s such a little kid and when modeling he’s all Zoolander when he wants to be. In addition to these latest ads for Gap, he also made an appearance in Shenzhen for the opening of the Gucci flagship store there since he’s one of Gucci’s models in Asia. He looks sooooo adorable at that opening. It’s nice to have him back after spending all of last year in the military but don’t expect to see him on TV anytime soon. He’s currently filming an army movie with his good friend director Doze Niu, which explains why his hair is still cropped so short.
Ethan at the Gucci flagship store opening in Shenzhen.