Meet model Matt Kemp, new face of the Gap

Meet model Matt Kemp, new face of the Gap
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp waits his turn for batting practice during a pregame workout on Wednesday. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Matt Kemp is a stylin' kind of guy. A regular clubhouse fashion plate. He puts time, effort and resources into looking chic. Owns enough shoes to make Imelda Marcos jealous.

Sometimes he can wear some fairly out-there, trendy stuff, he but always gets away with it. I mean, look at him. He's handsome, young and with that 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame could probably make a potato sack look good.


Seems the Gap thinks so too.

Kemp has signed an endorsement deal with the clothing retailer for its outlet stores and the ad campaign is scheduled to kick off in August.

According to Women's Wear Daily, Kemp is first male celebrity in Gap's biggest marketing push for its outlet stores. Those with long memories may recall that Eric Karros once did Gap ads, but they had to drop him because all people would talk about was his hair.

"This is pretty big," Kemp told WWD. "Everybody used to say that baseball players can't dress and athletes can't dress. You know, a lot of athletes now are trying to prove everybody wrong, though there are some athletes that try too hard and try to do over-the-top things. But me, I try to be simple and just make whatever I'm wearing look good."

According to the magazine, Kemp showed up for his photo shoot equipped for anything. It said he "brought not only his mitt, bats and baseballs to a Hollywood photo studio, but also 17 pairs of shoes, just as many hats, 11 belts, five pairs of glasses, three watches and a bundle of socks and bracelets from his own closet."

Kemp is signed to a $160-million contract, so it's not like he's becoming the face of Gap for the money. The guy loves fashion, though I do remember an ironic conversation in the clubhouse during the '90s when a rookie walked in and a veteran greeted him with: "Man, we gotta take you out and get you some suits. You look like you shop at the Gap."

Kemp takes this fashion stuff seriously enough that he has a personal stylist. This latest modeling effort figures to go over better with teammates than when he did a photo shoot for Flaunt Magazine three years ago.

Kemp told WWD he enjoys the fashion world and his forays into modeling.

"You get to work with beautiful people and have fun doing it and wear good clothes," Kemp said. "And it wouldn't be bad if I walk into the mall and I get to see my face. That would be cool, especially in the Gap store."