'I have not felt happy about photographs or a campaign in this way in a while.'
Selma Blair is one of the faces of Gap's Fall 2022 Icons campaign. The campaign, which spotlights American optimism, has opened new doors for the bestselling author. The "Legally Blonde" actress said in an interview with British Vogue, "I never thought that I could model, but here I am, 50 years old and 5ft 4in. Whatever we want to do now is the right time to do it. If you want to be seen, be seen, and if you want to write books, write books." She added, "I’ve been really vulnerable in this world and to know people think of you as relevant, as someone who has made a difference, is a lovely thing."
The campaign has also brought back memories for the actor and helped her realize how far she has come in her journey. When she moved to New York from Michigan to pursue acting, the "Cruel Intentions" actor recalled that she was "really on my own" as a full-time acting student. She had picked up odd jobs working at coffee shops. At the time, she was also working at a Gap store on the Upper East Side. She revealed that she walked 70 blocks to save on train fare to work but was happy that she wore Gap clothes.
She said, "I felt like walking around that town, wearing my loafers and my men's khakis and my white shirt — that I looked pretty damn polished and good." Describing the campaign as a full-circle moment, Blair told PEOPLE, "How smart were they to include me? This makes me so happy. I have not felt happy about photographs or a campaign in this way in a while."
While announcing the campaign, Gap referred to Blair's journey, which she has written about in the critically acclaimed New York Times Bestseller "Mean Baby." Quoting Blair from her memoir, the brand's campaign announcement read, "I took a job folding T-shirts at the Gap on Seventy-Fifth and Lex. I loved folding clothes on the folding board. I loved the Gap pens we won if we sold the most product that day. I loved the employee discount and the tap of the register keys as I printed out gift certificates and ran exchanges. In a way, working at the Gap was the perfect job for me, a place to channel my deep need for organization.”
The author said, "It's my pride. For me, Gap is something I do truly live in and love and to be included in this … it's a day that I'm really happy will live in a campaign." Blair has also survived many ups and downs in her life after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018. She had a stem cell transplant in 2019 and had a hard time dealing with the illness that affects all aspects of her life. She experiences "glitches and frailties," which have forced her to rethink even the most basic things, such as how she gets dressed. Blair includes her walking cane in the campaign and adds that dealing with the realities of her MS, even while in remission, is part of her daily routine.
Blair also suffers from alopecia and she covers her bald patches with her blonde hair or often wears turbans to hide it. "I'm never embarrassed when I make big, funny, blotto messes. I'm just not anymore. To me, trying means everything now. I used to be a little snobby about that," the actor said. The new Icons campaign features reworked classics in new proportions and organic textiles created using more sustainable Washwell water-saving processes. It also has a wide cast of personalities influencing our society via their own particular style and voice such as Labrinth, Cameron Russell, Lucky Blue Smith and Selma Blair.