The Gap was conceived when Donald Fisher, the retailer's founder, was unable to find the right sized blue jeans while shopping at a department store. Blue jeans had become so popular by then that he imagined a retail shop in which they were the featured product. The Gap is a reference to the 1960s phrase "generation gap."
Prior to the latter half of the 1960s, blue jeans had primarily been work garments. They were not a standard part of daily fashion. The young counterculture of the late 1960s began wearing them as a public statement against conformity. The trend caught on and blue jeans quickly became the ultra hip garment to own. Supply, unfortunately, did not meet demand. Fisher and his wife decided to create a store dedicated to blue jeans to fill the gap created by the growing demand for jeans. The 14 to 25 year old generation, from which unique tastes in clothing were emerging, had no youth-oriented market to fill their clothing needs. In 1969, the Fishers founded The Gap. To this day, The Gap's signature brand of jeans is called 1969 for this reason and, to date, jeans are still the signature product of the company.