The Gap's Skinny Black Pant commercial featuring footage of Audrey Hepburn from Funny Face synced to AC/DC's Back in Black.
You've seen the commercial . . .
In the fall of 2006, The Gap launched an ad campaign for its Skinny Black Pant featuring footage of Audrey Hepburn from the 1957 movie musical Funny Face dancing to the AC/DC classic Back in Black. The movie musical actually draws from the 1927 George and Ira Gershwin Broadway show of the same name, though the plot is very different and only four songs from the stage edition are in the movie, including the title number and 'S Wonderful.
The story is about a fashion photographer, played by Fred Astaire, who is looking for a great new look and finds it in Greenwich Village book store clerk Jo, played by Hepburn. A snob, Jo initially resists attempts to lure her into modeling until she learns the job will include a trip to Paris. Astaire and Hepburn cross the pond and fall in love.
Photo nuts will like to know that Astaire's character is based on legendary photographer Richard Avedon, who actually contributed photography to and set some scenes for the film. The footage in the Gap ad was drawn from the scene featuring Hepburn's "Bohemian Dance" in a Paris nightclub.
Creating the ad, The Gap, according to London's Guardian newspaper, worked with Hepburn's son, Sean Ferrer; renamed the garment the Audrey Hepburn Pant, and pledged to make a contribution to the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund.
The ad turned a lot of heads. Some people thought it was a cool way of bringing a classic actress back into the public consciousness. Others thought it was tasteless and tarnished Hepburn's legacy. The New York Times wrote that the ads turned off women because they, "couldn't imagine their own hindquarters fitting," into the pants.
Someone else who wasn't a fan was a Funny Face director Stanley Donen, who earlier this year sued The Gap, Paramount Pictures, and its parent company Viacom for $5 million because they used the footage without his permission.
The ad aside, the movie endures as a timeless classic, and you can see it yourself in the Kentucky Theatre's Summer Classics Series at 1:30 and 7:15 p.m. July 30. Tickets are $3.