Gap Appoints H&M Veteran to Top Design Post

San Francisco–Gap Inc. named a veteran of Swedish retailer H&M as its head of global design and creative director for its Gap brand.

Rebekka Bay, who developed and launched the COS brand, will begin her post as creative director starting Oct. 1, filling a position that has been vacant for more than a year since Gap Inc. fired Patrick Robinson in 2011.

In her new role, Bay will be responsible for women’s, men’s, 1969, accessories and body lines for Gap worldwide.

Referring to her designs as “timeless and covetable,” Gap said Bay has extensive experience managing a brand. Bay served as creative director of the COS brands for five years, starting in 2006. Since 2011. she has been creative director at Copenhagen-based Bruuns Bazaar.

Gap, which is amid a turnaround, has been hiring new executives recently. Last week, Gap announced that Michael Francis, who was ousted from JCPenney earlier this year, would help advise marketing.

In April, Gap named Stefan Larsson, a 15-year veteran of H&M to head its Old Navy division. The appointment comes after former Old Navy chief Tom Wyatt left the discount apparel retailer in February to take a job at a privately held early-childhood education company.

Gap has also been expanding abroad, while it plans to shut more than a fifth of its Gap stores in North America over the next two years due to an overextension of its store network in the United States and merchandising struggles.

In August, Gap reported that its fiscal second quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 29% thanks to stronger sales in North America and improved margins.

 

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