A Korean American designer known for her playfully androgynous spin on women’s fashion has been tapped to direct Banana Republic’s global design efforts.
The new creative director and executive vice president of GAP’s upmarket casual brand effective April 28 will oversee design efforts for both men’s and women’s fashion and accessories as well as set the tone for the chain of 3,100 stores and 350 franchised outlets in 90 countries.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy,” the Korean-born designer said in the company’s press release. “I’m excited to be joining Banana Republic and being able to make an impact for our modern customer.”
To sign Webb to her new post GAP structured a unique deal in which it will not only let Webb continue heading up the eponymous design line she launched in 2013 but also take a minority stake in the label. Banana Republic president Jack Calhoun, to whom Webb will report directly, will also assume an active role in helping Webb grow her company, suggesting that her Marissa Webb Collection may become an acquisition prospect after the release of its first line for Banana Republic in 2015.
Currently MWC is sold online and in over 30 stores globally, including Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Steven Alan, and some locations of Gap’s own Intermix division.
By the time Webb launched her own fashion label she had become known for breezy pieces that accentuate femininity through surprising juxtaposition of masculine elements like vests, button-down shirts and neckties. Before that she had spent 11 years working her way up to head of the women’s and accessories lines at J. Crew. She spent the first few years of her career at Polo and Club Monaco after graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology.