It’s been well over a year since Gap dismissed their former head designer, Patrick Robinson, and they’ve finally tapped his replacement: Rebekka Bay, who was instrumental in developing H&M’s higher-end COS brand from 2006 to 2011, will start on October 1.* She’s spent the past year working as the creative director of Bruuns Bazaar, a Copenhagen-based fashion label. In her new position, she’ll oversee women’s, men’s, 1969, accessories, and body lines, and she’ll report directly to Gap North America president Art Peck and Gap International president Stephen Sunnucks, says WWD.
COS isn’t widely known in the U.S., but it’s been a huge hit in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, so Bay’s hiring signals Gap’s renewed focus on international appeal. The brand was floundering long before Robinson got the axe, and it continues to struggle with sales figures both domestically and abroad. The company made some major hires earlier this year, poaching people from Uniqlo and Nike, and made rumblings about an impending “turnaround”; perhaps Bay will finally get that ball rolling.
* This post has been changed to reflect Patrick Robinson’s former position: he was head designer, not creative director.