Gap can’t fill Sarah Jessica void

New York women were aghast last week when news broke that the Gap was no longer going to use Sarah Jessica Parker, the Sex and the City style maven, in its advertising. (Joss Stone, a 17-year-old British soul singer, will star in the upcoming campaign for the summer white-denim line.) Well, maybe not all New York women were aghast—but at least four of them were, as they sipped pear martinis and sampled sushi at a trendy Japanese restaurant in the Meatpacking District during a Saturday night birthday party. In a scene oddly reminiscent of Sex and the City, the four discussed Parker’s latest, and apparently last, commercial for the ailing retailer, in which she tapped her Broadway roots, singing “Enjoy Being a Girl” in an endearing song and dance promoting “khakis with a feminine flair.” “I love that commercial,” gushed one diner. “What is the Gap thinking? She’s a fashion icon!” wailed another. “Sarah Jessica Parker was the only good thing Gap had going for it,” a third concluded as the talk turned to the Gap’s current reputation for poor quality and uninspired designs—and a friend in Montreal’s decision to boycott the clothier because of its marketing decision. No one at the table seemed cheered up that Parker was paid $38 million for her three-season stint. Maybe it was the fact that Parker just turned 40 and her replacement is just 17. Or that the birthday candle in front of them was melting the green-tea ice cream. But mostly it was the fact that the beloved actress, a Square Pegs nerd turned fashion diva, was no longer going to be gracing TV screens with her radiant personality, unless you count Sex and the City reruns on TBS.