The new creative director of GAP since 2012: Rebekka Bay
Gap! I’ve always loved Gap jeans and the classy and casual style of their clothing but over time they lost their strong and influential American brand image with the rush of competitors like trendy fast fashion companies and inner company turmoils with the firing of CEOs and designers.
In the Bloomberg Businessweek’s Design issue Rebekka Bay shared her experiences, process, vision and creative for Gap which was very insightful and inspiring. I also added some clippings of quotes I really loved that were said by Rebekka!
Who is Rebekka Bay:
- Danish fashion designer
- Started her career as a designer for a Danish menswear brand
- Worked with Volvo, Nissan, and Dunhill specifically for strategic planning teams
- At Volvo she helped design cars that appealed to women
- In 2007 she worked with H&M and successfully created the clothing line, COS (Collection of Style), minimalist clothing line.
Her design and style:
- Loose yet structured designs
Her approach to Gap:
- She tried to recall her fondest memories of the brand: “Ads: moody black-and-white photos shot by Herb Ritts and Annie Leibovitz some 25 years ago, and the Khakis Swing television commercials bursting with a late-1990s American exuberance.”
- She researched the history, design and business by visiting Gap’s archives to better understand the brand and vision of the company
- Re-focus on the basics: classic Gap jeans and white shirts
- Recreating iconic pieces like designer jackets (peacoats, bomber jackets, etc) and jeans to be classy and trendy
Her rules for creating a collection:
“You need a very strong foundation…You have boundaries, and you can only – and I’m kind of rigid about this – you can only work within them.”
Many creative people and designers may disagree with her rules and structure but I think it’s a very realistic mindset to have especially for the company she’s working for: Gap. She’s working to re-create and maintain a very specific brand image. It’s great to see that she wants to maintain the balance between creativity and the Ready to Wear aspect for their target consumers. She also shares a lot of stories in the article about how she, the design team, and the merchandising team work together to share ideas openly, be critical, and collaborate effectively to improve the collections.
There have been many positive views from bloggers and fashion magazines about her jumping on board Gap but there are also a few skeptics who wonder if she can recreate the success she did with H&M. I am on the more positive side – I think her vision and branding is on point and I look forward to hearing and seeing 😉 more about the upcoming Gap collections with her!
Source: Businessweek Design Issue – It has many other great articles about design, innovation, and creativity! Totally recommend it to everyone.