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coco gordon moore on 90s gap, her mom’s campaigns, and thrifting

The artist daughter of Sonic Youth legends Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore shares what it was like to be a part of ‘Generation Gap,’ the new film celebrating the next wave of unique talent.

by Emily Manning
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Feb 2 2017, 5:55pm

Did you know that Joan Didion was once in a Gap ad? Or Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins? Renegade director Spike Lee? How about Kim Gordon, the powerhouse bassist and co-vocalist behind Sonic Youth, one of the most influential bands to emerge in the 90s? We didn't, and neither did Gordon's own daughter, Coco Gordon Moore, until Gap sent the picture to her, asking if she'd like to be a part of its newest project, Generation Gap.

The film pays unique homage to Gap's iconic black and white campaign imagery — much of it photographed by Annie Leibovitz — by assembling a heavy-hitting roster of next-generation talent with links to the 90s legacy. In addition to Gordon Moore, Generation Gap features model Lizzy Jagger and actor Evan Ross, whose moms (Jerry Hall and Diana Ross) also appeared in early-90s ads. It includes singers Chelsea Tyler and Rumer Willis — the daughters of Steven Tyler and Demi Moore, who handled denim duties in their respective Gap ads — as well as DJ TJ Mizell, whose father, Jam Master Jay, rocked the coveted Gap logo sweatshirt in his "Original Fit Jeans" commercial.

This ensemble is rounded out by a woman who has appeared in very many advertisements, commercials, and campaigns: Naomi Campbell. The British super was shot by Steven Meisel wearing Gap's Pocket Tee in her 1992 ad. In Generation Gap, Campbell again sports a Pocket Tee, but a revamped version from Gap's Archive Re-Issue collection. The 15-piece offering includes 90s tanks, tees, oxfords, khakis, and denim; it'll be released on February 7. 

In the new film, directed by Kevin Calero, Campbell discusses her own Gap shoot back in the 90s, two years before Gordon Moore was born: "It was very cool, very easy, but yet had a slight edge. It was all about personality. And that's what I loved about my picture with Steven. I thought I was going to be decked out, but it was just a simple t-shirt. I loved that." After gooning around on skateboards and talking about their tattoos, the crew performs a newly stripped back acapella version of Color Me Badd's "All For Love."

We had a quick chat with Gordon Moore about learning her dance moves, her mom's hand-me-downs, and thrifting for vintage Gap in her New England hometown.

What was it like on set? Having to learn choreography would make me so nervous!
When I learned that I had to dance and do a little singing, I was immediately petrified [laughs] because I'm not coordinated and I don't have what one would call a "nice" singing voice. So yeah, it was a little nerve wracking but I got the hang of it. I figured it out and was able to do it.

It looks like you guys had some fun, too. Did you know anyone who was also in the campaign before you got to set?
No, I didn't. I don't think any of us knew each other, actually, which is funny because some of us — like me and Chelsea and Lizzy — were kind of like, "our parents probably know each other." 

That's true! It's also not your first rodeo. You did the MadeMe X-girl collaboration and some Marc Jacobs campaigns, too. Do you generally feel comfortable in front of cameras?
I'm definitely getting more comfortable with still photography. I think video makes me a little more uncomfortable, freaks me out a little bit, which is why this was kind of hard for me to do, but I'm also really glad I did it.

Is it helpful to have like other people in the projects as well? You've done stuff with your mom, obviously, but MadeMe was just you.
Yeah, it's fun. I like doing both honestly; it was kind of cool to be with a crew, because I've never really done that before — something where it's a whole group, not just me and my mom. I loved that, I loved the energy.

I did not know your mom was ever in a Gap ad!
Neither did I! Until I was offered to do this one.

I haven't been able to find her image anywhere. Have you seen it?
Yes, but because they sent it to me. I couldn't find it anywhere else!

Was it just her, or the rest of the band as well? It was right around when Goo came out, I think.
Yeah, it was just a single shot of her in black and white, but it's an amazing photo, she looks so good. That's what got me excited; I was like, oh damn! 

Do you know if she still has that t-shirt she wore in that ad?
Oh, I have no idea, I'm assuming she doesn't [laughs]. But who knows, she keeps so much, a lot of clothes around.

We've spoken in the past about your X-girl inheritance, but are there other pieces you've been bequeathed that are also particularly special?
Oh yeah, I mean, pretty much my entire wardrobe was once hers. I take all of her hand-me-downs because most of her clothes are — the ones that she gets rid of, at least — designs from the 90s. I love them because you can't get them anywhere else except for online. It's like: this wasn't one of a kind one time, but now it kind of is.

I get what you mean; it's a lot harder to find that kind of durable fabric and shape now. I also grew up in Massachusetts, and everybody wore Gap, so sometimes I'm able to find older Gap stuff when I go to thrift stores back home. Is that also the case in Northampton?
I think it's definitely a New England look, for sure, like a Dawson's Creek kind of aesthetic. I wore a ton of Gap growing up there and I think other kids did too, I remember the khakis and everything now. And now that you mention it, I actually recently bought an old Gap logo sweatshirt at a Salvation Army in Massachusetts. It's pink, and it's so sick!

Read: Coco talks reviving X-girl's 90s roots with girls-first streetwear label MadeMe

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Text Emily Manning

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