Marissa Webb steps down as Banana Republic’s Creative Director
The American press has reported that Banana Republic has parted ways with its Creative Director, Marissa Webb. The brand hired Webb, a former J. Crew designer for 10 years and head of her eponymous line, in April 2014 but it is being reported that she has stepped down after 18 months.
Webb will remain with Gap as a Creative Advisor, and the Creative Director position will be eliminated. The brand will continue with a design team.
Sales numbers failed to turn around with Webb at the helm. Gap released its sales numbers for September 2015, which showed a continued trend for the company that being how Gap and Banana Republic continue to struggle while Old Navy increases business. Old Navy was up 4% compared last year, Gap global remained flat and Banana Republic decreased 10% compared to 2% last year. The company as a whole decreased 1% to $1.46 billion from $1.48 billion in the previous year.
Andi Owen, Banana Republic’s global brand president released a statement: “Marissa has brought incredible passion and leadership to Banana Republic over the last year and a half. I admire her talent and tenacity and the creative spirit that she's infused within our brand, all while further establishing her private label. With a very strong product team in place at Banana Republic, this is the right time to evolve her role. We'll continue to support Marissa and her success in the future.”
Webb was a designer for J. Crew for 10 years before parting ways with the company to launch her eponymous label. She will continue to focus on her brand, which Gap funds in a minority investment, in addition to advising for Gap. Her departure follows the announcement that Old Navy Global Brand President Stefan Larsson has been named CEO of Ralph Lauren. The news affected the company’s stock, which dropped 6% the day after the announcement.
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