Gap Inc. announced yesterday that Banana Republic has named Marissa Webb as Creative Director and Executive Vice President of Design, effective April 28. She will be responsible for guiding the brand’s overall creative direction, as well as leading global product design for Banana Republic Women’s, Men’s, and Accessories.
Webb replaces Simon Kneen, who was with Banana Republic from 2009 to December 2013, during which time the core collections became increasingly dull, and the brand lost ground to J. Crew, H&M and other specialty retailers. Perhaps to compensate, Banana Republic rolled out a series of upscale collaborations with designers such as Trina Turk, the late L’Wren Scott and, just announced this week, Roland Mouret.
A celebrated fashion designer, Marissa Webb is most recently known for her eponymous upper contemporary label. Prior to branching out on her own during 2011, she spent time at Polo, Club Monaco and over a decade at J. Crew Group Inc., where she served in various design roles, including Head of Womenswear and Accessories Design. Webb will retain her role as President and Creative Director at Marissa Webb (M Webb LLC), in addition to her newly appointed role at Banana Republic. Webb’s first collection for Banana Republic is expected in the summer of 2015.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the extremely passionate, talented design and creative teams at Banana Republic,” said Webb. “The brand has such a beautiful history which I truly admire. This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy. I’m excited to be joining Banana Republic and being able to make an impact for our modern customer.”
Gap Inc. also announced that it intends to join M Webb LLC’s minority investors by investing in the Marissa Webb label. Initially launched exclusively at Barneys New York, the Marissa Webb Collection is now available in over 30 stores globally, inclusive of select locations within Gap’s Intermix division, as well as online.
We featured Marissa Webb back in September.