While Janelle Monáe is known first and foremost for her talent she's also a fashion icon. Often dawning red lipstick and black and white classic, timeless style, fans will have the chance to emulate her style. She's bringing her signature look to the Gap for the store's holiday "Meet Me in the Gap" ad campaign, Billboard revealed exclusively on Tuesday.
The minute-long video features Monáe, "musical families," and choir members dressed in Gap gear singing an acapella version “You Got What I Need” by Freddie Scott, directed by Paul Hunter, known for work on music videos with such artists as Mariah Carey, Pharrell, Usher, Diddy and more.
"As a country and as Americans, we’re strongest when we come together,” Monáe told Billboard. “I hope that when people watch [the commercial] they feel encouraged to meet each other; to talk; to listen — around the holidays, especially and beyond.”
It's an uplifting theme that echoes last month's "Meet Me in the Gap" ad, which featured pop icon Cher and hip-hop artist Future singing Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People." Monáe elaborates in a separate behind-the-scenes video, discussing her love for both the holidays and being part of a community.
"I love the unity," she says of the reason she signed on for the campaign. "I always try to lead with doing things that are bigger than just Janelle Monáe and bigger than myself. How can I be a part of a community? How can I contribute? And so that’s why I love collaborating with people who are different from me. I think it’s about individuality meeting in this wide space and just painting it with so many different colors from people all over the world. I get a lot of inspiration when I have conversations around Christmas time and around the holidays.”
The gap's chief marketing officer Craig Brommers spoke to Forbes about what made Monáe the perfect fit for the campaign.
"We knew that Janelle would not only bring her incredible voice but also her undeniable energy and enthusiasm which we feel really made this campaign so special," Brommers said. "It really will give you goosebumps.”
Monáe also discussed having worn the Gap's clothes since she was a child.
"I remember wearing it all the time for years,” she said. "I have a very organic relationship with Gap, so [the campaign] just felt right."
Monáe has also worked with the company in their ads before--she was part of the 2008 holiday campaign with Jon Heder of "Napoleon Dynamite" fame.
While the ad won't hit your TV screens until Nov. 6, the clothes featured in the ad are for sale online now at gap.com.