Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Designer Rebekka Bay and Gap are profiled in the most recent edition of Businessweek and the article shines a light on the future of the brand, the way that Bay works within the existing Gap team and more.
In addition to a full background on Bay and Gap, there are insights into the designer's managerial style. "I was in a sketch review with 20 people, and I said, 'Everyone who doesn't have an opinion can leave the room now.' I think everyone was shocked," she said, adding that more people spoke up afterward. Bay also drops hints about her plans for Gap's aesthetic, which sounds very promising. Here, five clues as to where Gap is headed.
1. Get ready for high-waist and acid-wash denim. Bay's idea—to reintroduce acid-washed jeans—didn't go over well with all the Gap creatives. "Some of the older team members were like, 'Eew,'" said Gap's head of merchandising, Michelle DeMartini. "But I said we've got to go for it." It was the same story with high-rise. "Everyone's nervous about high rise, but I'm relieved," said DeMartini.
2. Gap's not going after Zara. Instead of trends, Bay is focused on classics. "A peacoat is a very iconic piece," she says. "It's bigger than the peacoat I design. That's how you define iconic pieces. They're almost like concepts. They're seasonless, ageless."
3. It sounds like the quality will increase. "Good design is less about taste but more about integrity," said Bay. "I think we can do less, and do it so much better, that it is going to be more productive for us."
4. Forget about bright colors. "I created a palette which is seasonless, meaning it's going to live with us always. So we have the same navy blues, the same reds, the same beiges, the same grays."
5. Skinnies aren't going away. "Five years ago I could not get our customers into skinny jeans, and now we can't get them out," said DeMartini. "So if I say to Rebekka, 'Listen, our customers aren't quite ready. We need to stay within this business for a little bit longer,' she just 100 percent agrees."
· Can Rebekka Bay Fix the Gap? [Businessweek]
· Gap's Uphill Path: the Steps That Could Fix America's Retailer [Racked]