Has Gap Finally Found Its Sartorial Groove Under Rebekka Bay?

Gap's new creative director Rebekka Bay officially started work October 1, 2012--and in Gap's fall look book, we're finally getting a glimpse at Bay's influence. Doesn't it look expensive? And super sophisticated? And vaguely Cos-like? Well if it does, it's probably because Bay, who helped found Cos, had a hand in the way the look book was styled and presented.
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Hayley Phelan
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Gap's new creative director Rebekka Bay officially started work October 1, 2012--and in Gap's fall look book, we're finally getting a glimpse at Bay's influence. Doesn't it look expensive? And super sophisticated? And vaguely Cos-like? Well if it does, it's probably because Bay, who helped found Cos, had a hand in the way the look book was styled and presented.
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Gap's new creative director Rebekka Bay officially started work October 1, 2012--and in Gap's fall look book, we're finally getting a glimpse at Bay's influence. Doesn't it look expensive? And super sophisticated? And vaguely Cos-like?

Well if it does, it's probably because Bay, who helped found Cos, had a hand in the way the look book was styled and presented.

While Bay's designs won't land in Gap stores until Spring 2014, we're glad we're already seeing her creative direction in this new look book.

The retailer has been struggling for years--and part of the problem has been inconsistent design. Former Gap creative Director Patrick Robinson, who was fired in May 2011, apparently encountered such problems--a former Gap employee who worked with Robinson told the New York Times, "one season, executives were asked to focus on women’s career wear, only to be told the next season to get back to Gap’s core, denim. “Then it’s, ‘Don’t focus on the denim business; focus on tops.'" They were apparently told to go after Express's trendy, club-ready market share. And then Macy's diverse, accessible wares. And most recently, it appears the retailer has been taking a page from J.Crew's book.

But Bay, it seems, is keen on taking the brand in a new direction with sleek, sophisticated, pared-down clothes--which could be exactly what the brand needs to carve out a niche in the American market again. Zara and H&M have uber-trendy, fast fashion mastered; J.Crew and Club Monaco own their own blend of quirky-cool (at higher price points); but there's definitely room for a brand with affordably priced, stylish basic pieces. And Gap could be it.

Click through to see the full look book.