When Gap let go of its creative director Rebekka Bay after just two years on the job this past January, we knew it wasn't due to a lack of talent on Bay's part. The struggling retailer had eliminated the role of a creative director entirely, and we had a feeling that the Danish designer would land on her feet.
That she has — and it's somewhere good. The online-native, direct-to-consumer apparel startup Everlane has named Bay its new head of product and design, effective Aug. 4, a rep for the brand confirmed. Business of Fashion originally reported the news on Friday, noting that Petra Langerova, Everlane's present (and first) head of design will stay on as an advisor, and that Bay and her team will be based in New York. Interestingly, Langerova, too, joined the company after a stint at Gap as a design director.
Known for conceptualizing and launching the successful H&M offshot Cos, Bay has a knack for designing appealingly minimalist clothing that's cool without being overtly trendy, and experience launching a global brand. While her aesthetic may not have been the right match for struggling Gap and its present goals, it could be a great fit for Everlane.
There, it sounds like she'll be tasked with scaling the still-small company. "I think she’s going to bring a significant amount of strategy and foresight and planning, thinking about Everlane not only as a fashion brand, but as a lifestyle brand," Everlane founder Michael Preysman told BoF, adding: “Creating something that is beautiful, functional and accessible can be done once or twice with a small team... But we need to do that now with hundreds of styles.”
Bay described her goal for Everlane thusly: "My mission is to [communicate] the Everlane vision so that you’re never in doubt when you’re touching or wearing an Everlane product.”
Preysman also told BoF that in addition to scaling, the company has also had some fit issues that Bay will help address. He says that sales have doubled in the past year, and that the company is close to becoming profitable.