No sooner, it seems, had Zac Posen whipped up a series of ball gowns for a TV miniseries than he was named to top creative positions at brands better known for cargo pants and pajama sets. On Monday Mr. Posen, 43, whose namesake brand ceased operations in 2019, was announced as the new creative director of Gap Inc. and the new chief creative officer of Old Navy.
The designer known for pieces that evoke Golden Age Hollywood will “serve as cultural curator and creative partner,” Richard Dickson, the president and chief executive of Gap Inc., said in a news release.
Mr. Posen’s appointment may seem a stretch — he surely won’t be making mermaid gowns — but this is not his first mass-market foray. He has created collections for Target and his own diffusion lines like Z Spoke. Nor is he the first star talent to be awarded a fancy title at Gap.
Predecessors have included Patrick Robinson, who after a four-year stint was dismissed in 2011 and, more controversially, Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, whose Yeezy Gap partnership ended amid a scandal in 2022. And yet, the company still seems willing to bank on a “name” to help burnish its image.
Maurizio Donadi, a former senior vice president at Levi’s and a founder of Transnomadica, a company that acquires and upcycles secondhand clothes, said Mr. Posen in his new positions can “bring a lot of new ideas, and a sophisticated level of taste in tune with where the market is going.”
Whether he can spin those ideas into a positive shopping experience remains to be seen. Mr. Donadi, an avid collector of Gap pieces from its glory years in the ’90s, said its stores these days are lacking in energy and imagination. “But I love the brand,” he said, “and I would love to see it relevant again.”