Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gap Display Makes People Think of Lynching, Unfortunately

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

One Bay Area Gap has tried out an experimental window display, to deleterious effect. As NBC reports, the store opted to use black nooses to hang its "1969" jeans from the ceiling, making passersby uncomfortable. "1969 is the year after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated," explains NBC, who quoted one local resident as saying, "the rope itself does look like lynching and that's not OK." Gap is using the nooses to promote its new black denim line, which the company has been promoting with the slogan, "Black is a color."

So nooses: not great for clothing displays, like ever. No one looks at a noose and makes positive associations. One employee who went unnamed said that the decision to use the nooses was made by Gap corporate. NBC concludes their report with this: "the ropes do not have a 'hangman's knot,' some local African-Americans noted. So that's one plus." Dressing normal never looked so good.