Gap Selling Kentucky-Centric Tee; Local Retailer Responds

Graphic T-shirts touting Louisville and Kentucky have been a working-class fashion statement around these parts for years. Musician Scott Ritcher was selling T-shirts stating, simply, “Louisville: The Biggest City in Kentucky” a decade ago. WHY Louisville, a Bardstown Road shop founded in 2005, did even more to accelerate city and state pride in T-shirt form.

Now, national retailers are getting into the Kentucky T-shirt game.

Here’s a T-shirt available on the Gap’s website:

Horses! Bourbon! Trees and, uh, barrels!

They hit some of the highpoints.

For a response to the Gap’s Kentucky tee, I went to WHY Louisville proprietor Will Russell. Russell notes that WHY Louisville’s T-shirts are designed by artists who live or are from the area, meaning their “native passion and insider take on the design shines through.” But Russell said he understands why a Gap would do a Kentucky tee.

“Kentucky has a sexy shape,” he said. “You can’t blame the big retailers for cashing in on the Kentucky game.”

So how did the Gap do design-wise, anyway? I asked Russell to critique:

“The Gap’s Kentucky tee is fine. People love bourbon and horses so I’m sure they will sell the hell out of them,” he said in a Facebook message. “The main problem is you have to go to the mall to get one which in my opinion is a wretched hive of scum and villiany. Be cautious out there, or perhaps you can avoid that racket altogether and support local independent businesses.”

Joseph Lord

Joseph Lord is the online managing editor for WFPL.

@joseph_Lord

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