Gap names Rebekka Bay as head of global design

NEW YORK -- Gap has tapped Rebekka Bayas creative director and executive vice president for global design,effective Oct. 1.

Bay, who developed andlaunched the COS brand at the Swedish fast-fashion retail chain H&M,will be responsible for products sold online and in the nearly 1,600stores in 42 countries in which Gap's namesake brand operates, accordingto a statement issued Monday.

She fills the spot vacated by Patrick Robinson who was ousted in May 2011. He had been design director for the Gap chain.

Baywill report to Gap North America president Art Peck and GapInternational President Stephen Sunnucks. "We've taken the time toidentify the right creative leader for Gap and we've found that inRebekka," said Sunnucks in a statement. "We're confident that Rebekka'sapproach to design, along with her considerable internationalexperience, will allow her to help us build upon the momentum we'redelivering in the business today."

Gap also operates stores under Old Navy, Banana Republic as well as under Piperlime.

Bayconceptualized, developed and launched the COS brand for Hennes &Mauritz -- H&M -- starting in 2006. The COS brand is now successfulacross Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Since 2011, Bay served ascreative director at Bruuns Bazaar, overseeing the designer of women'sand men's apparel.

Bay is signing up with Gapat a time when the clothing chain is showing evidence of a turnaround.It reported in mid-August a 29% increase in second-quarter net income,as the fashion retailer's moves to liven up its clothing with brightlycolored trendy looks are winning over shoppers.

Gap also raised its full-year profit guidance for the second time since May.

Ather new job at Gap, Bay will be based in New York, managing designteams there and at the 1969 Gap jeans brand office in Los Angeles andwill work closely with Pam Wallack, who leads the Gap Global CreativeCenter. Tracy Gardner will continue in her role as Creative Adviser toGap.

Bay is one of several key appointments that Gap has been making to fortify its business.

Lastweek, the company said that Michael Francis, the former J.C. Penneypresident and chief marketing officer at Target, will become thecompany's marketing creative adviser starting Monday. He is expected toprovide guidance to the company's marketing teams across the company.

Franciswill be spending two weeks a month at Gap's San Francisco offices,working closely with CEO and Chairman Glenn Murphy and the company'sbrand leaders.

In April, the company namedStef Larsson, former head of global sales for H&M, as president ofthe Old Navy brand. He'll start by the end of October, replacing TomWyatt, who resigned in February.

In February2011, a management shake-up ended with a new president for the Gapbrand, and in May 2011 Robinson was fired, as his designs were notcatching on shoppers, with some exceptions. Gap also established aGlobal Creative Center and consolidated its marketing in New York.

Sharesof Gap gained 24 cents to $35.44 in afternoon trading. The stock hastraded between $15.64 and $36.60 in the past 52 weeks.


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