Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Marissa Webb is Back... But at Banana Republic!

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Kelly, GigisGoneShopping, bostonlizpoms, as well as ShopALot (in this post), who shared the following press release (from the Wall Street Journal, click here to read in its entirety) with us:
Gap Inc. Announces Marissa Webb as Creative Director and Executive Vice President of Design for Banana Republic
April 15, 2014

Gap Inc. today announced that Banana Republic has named Marissa Webb as Creative Director and Executive Vice President of Design, effective April 28. She will be responsible for guiding the brand's overall creative direction, as well as leading global product design for Banana Republic Women's, Men's, and Accessories. Marissa will report to Global President of Banana Republic, Jack Calhoun.

"I am so excited for Marissa to bring her own special touch to the brand, " said Calhoun. "What she delivers today is so fresh and relevant, I know her design sensibility will move Banana Republic forward in our effort to deliver Modern American style. I can't wait to have her on board."

A celebrated fashion designer, Marissa Webb is most recently known for her eponymous upper contemporary label. Prior to branching out on her own during 2011, she spent time at Polo, Club Monaco and over a decade at J.Crew Group Inc., where she served in various design roles, including Head of Womenswear and Accessories Design. Webb will retain her role as President and Creative Director at Marissa Webb (M Webb LLC), in addition to her newly appointed role at Banana Republic. Webb's first collection for Banana Republic is expected in the summer of 2015.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the extremely passionate, talented design and creative teams at Banana Republic," said Webb. "The brand has such a beautiful history which I truly admire. This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy. I'm excited to be joining Banana Republic and being able to make an impact for our modern customer."

Gap Inc. also announced that it intends to join M Webb LLC's minority investors by investing in the Marissa Webb label. Initially launched exclusively at Barneys New York, the Marissa Webb Collection is now available in over 30 stores globally, inclusive of select locations within Gap's Intermix division, as well as online. Calhoun will work with Webb as a strategic partner in the growth and development of her business. ...
So many random thoughts going through my head right now that I will just jot down a few:
  1. So happy to see Marissa Webb back! Okay, Marissa Webb did not go anywhere. In fact, she started her own clothing line, so she was definitely somewhere doing something. (It was just too pricey for my wallet, so she kind of dropped out of my shopping radar.) I am so excited to hear about her latest news... 
  2. Why didn't she return to J.Crew? Did they even make her an offer? J.Crew should have totally offered her a position to come back. Her time at the company definitely showed in the clothes. The styles were on point, on trend, in season, etc. (You get the point!) ;) It was apparent the collections were never quite the same after she left.
  3. I totally get why she went over to the Gap/BR though. Investing in Webb's private venture so she continue her line is a pretty sweet deal.
  4. I am curious what Webb's collection at BR will look like? Will it trend more J.Crew in its approach? Will it give J.Crew a run for its money? I have not shopped at BR in a long time. I will definitely be checking them out now!
What are your thoughts on this latest news? Are you happy to see Marissa Webb back at styling more affordable (relatively speaking) pieces?