ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, April 1, 2011: Glenn K. Murphy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gap Inc., with Mayor Francis Slay at his side, announced Gap’s successful sponsorship of the 2014 Kumbha Mela in St. Louis at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The huge clothing retailer, with 3,200 stores worldwide, has been working to incorporate Indian fashion design into its lineup for the past three seasons, with questionable success. ‘It has taken us ten years of negotiation with the various Akharas in India, but we finally convinced them we could do a better Kumbha Mela here than at Prayag. We have some obstacles, as any major project does, but we are raising funds now to fly 350,000 naga sadhus here for the event and provide each with a designer loincloth donated by Gap subsidiary Banana Republic. Apple, Inc. has promised each a vibhuti-white iPhone, and the city of St. Louis is setting up a vast camp for their use. It’s a first for the Gap, and a first for America as well.’
Apple announced there will be a limited edition application on its App Store, available only for those who participate in the event, called iBathed.