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Gap Inc taps American fashion designer Zac Posen as creative director

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The fashion industry has been experiencing an ongoing game of musical chairs with its coveted creative director roles. The latest big name to secure a seat is NYC designer Zac Posen, famed for red-carpet gowns and celebrity connections. But he’s not going to one of the high-stakes luxury houses. Instead, his appointment is far more down to earth: Gap.

Gap Inc. has tapped American fashion designer Zac Posen as the chain’s creative director.

The hire announced on Monday is among the first big personnel moves under the San Francisco-based chain’s new CEO Richard Dickson, who took the helm in August and is aiming to turn around years of languishing sales. Dickson had previously been president of toy giant Mattel and was responsible for re-energising its Barbie and Hot Wheels lines.

Gap also operates stores under Athleta and Banana Republic, Old Navy and its namesake brand.

In a statement, Dickson said Posen’s “technical expertise and cultural clarity have consistently evolved American fashion, making him a great fit for the company as we ignite a new culture of creativity across the portfolio and reinvigorate our storied brands”.

Gap has been focusing on heritage and classics in recent marketing campaigns, including its 2023 Holiday campaign. Photo / @thesabinakarlsson

Posen, who launched his eponymous collection in 2001 and was known for his glamorous body-hugging gowns, was a red carpet favourite for such stars as Katie Holmes and Rihanna. However, the business later struggled and was forced to shut down in 2019.

He’ll be executive vice-president at Gap Inc. and also chief creative officer for the lower-priced Old Navy chain.

Posen will work closely with Haio Barbeito, Old Navy’s president and CEO, reporting directly to him, the company said.

Gap’s shares rose nearly 1 per cent, or 16 cents, on Monday to close at US$19.97. They are up 31 per cent in the past 12 months.

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