Thursday, January 19, 2012

Former J.Crew Tracy Gardner Now at the Gap

"Thanks!" to many of you, including Lizbeck (in this post), who shared the following. NY Mag's The Cut (click here to read in its entirety) offers an update about Tracy Gardner's latest role:
The Gap’s New Advisor Is J.Crew’s Former President
By Charlotte Cowles
January 19, 2012

The poor old Gap has been limping along with poor sales figures for years now, but perhaps the company is actually ready to make good on all those promises to fix itself up and sell clothes people actually want to buy. Enter Tracy Gardner, who was the president of J.Crew from 2004 to 2010, after which she resigned in order to “spend more time with her children," according to J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler (she was replaced by Jenna Lyons). Like Drexler, Gardner worked at the Gap before J.Crew, so this move is a homecoming of sorts.

As of now, Gardner doesn't have a specific title; she'll work "in an advisory capacity and will provide oversight and guidance on the development of our women’s product,” Gap spokeswoman Louise Callagy told WWD. And don't expect to see major changes at the store for quite some time — Callagy said that Gardner's first project is "developing holiday product for 2012." (If Gardner brings any of her J.Crew fairy dust with her, this means we can anticipate lots of sequins and artfully half-tucked collared shirts from the Gap come Christmas.) Meanwhile, the brand is still hunting for a successor for head designer Patrick Robinson, who was dismissed this past summer.
Good to see her back! (As some of you remember, Tracy Gardner left J.Crew back in 2010. Refer to the "J.Crew News: Tracey's Out, Jenna's In" post.) I thought Tracy did a great job at J.Crew too.

It will be interesting to see what Tracy's title will be at the Gap, and the amount of influence she will have to turn things around. This is a great move for the Gap, since they need some help in the style department. (Honestly, I have not shopped there in the longest time.)

On a semi-random note... what is Melissa Webb up to now? Love to hear about her too!

What are your thoughts on Tracy Gardner's role at the Gap? Were you surprised by the move or did you see it coming? Are you excited to see Tracy back?


  1. I'm glad to hear this! The Gap has been stumbling for some time and quality has been falling steadily. I'd love to see them make a comeback!

  2. Anything to help The Gap. I used to shop there all the time and now I walk in and can't find a single thing I want. They need to get back to the basics.

  3. This sounds like a smart move! I still shop at Gap for all of my plain black/white/gray t-shirts, and their Long & Lean jeans fit my figure better than almost any other brand (even though the sizing is wonky). They also need to step up their training for sales associates - almost every Gap that I've ever been in has messy displays and apathetic SA's.

  4. This is good news for all of us who love J.Crew...I think it means more competition in the marketplace :)

  5. This is great news!

    I have reviewed quite a few good Gap pieces lately on my blog , so hopefully things will get even better at the Gap.

    I agree with Whitney... almost all the Gaps I have been to seem to be ransacked.

  6. Sadly I feel GAP has really been lacking for several years. Hopefully they'll be heading in a better direction now. I used to shop at GAP way more than I do now. I rarely buy anything for myself there. Still shop for the hubs and kids there, but for me, nope.

  7. aww man, i would LOVE to see the GAP make a comeback too. I have been wearing the GAP for literally my whole life--Baby Gap to regular women's GAP clothes! Their quality, like many other places, has gone way down in recent years, so I'd love to see an improvement (COUGH JCREW COUGH). I can usually count on them still for basic stuff like tees and maybe a sweater or two. I go there for stuff like that but stick to Nordstrom for clothes that matter.

    I definitelyyyyy agree with Whitney--their stores are a hot mess and most sales associates SUCK. I once went in there like 3 christmases ago and found a cute top in the sales rack (that was a HUGE mess) that was marked way down. Turns out some other nasty customer put it there and must have stuck a wrong tag on it because it wasn't really marked down. The girl glared daggers at me and all but accused me of doing it myself. What a bitch! I sure got out of there quick and avoided buying a shirt that probably would have gotten holes in it anyway.

  8. Seems like a logical move for her to return to Gap after a successful stint at J. Crew.

    To echo Alexis' question ... does anyone know the whereabouts of Marissa Webb? I always admired her sense of style.

  9. I was just going to ask the same thing? Where is Marissa?

    I think this is a smart move by gap!

  10. Verrrrrrrrrry interesting. The Merchant Princess! :)

    Goodness knows they need the help badly. I haven't bought anything in there in the longest time. Every once in a while I used to find a gem, but not in the last 6 months to a year.

    I do fear that their merch will just become JC knockoffs, but hopefully it will mean someone besides the Crew will make clothes I'll want to buy! Tracy, if you're listening, please say no to nasty synthetic blends and shoddy workmanship!

    Now, where will Marissa pop up? I still think Land's End, Ann Taylor or possibly even in some capacity at JC Penney, which seems to be trying hard to revive itself as a brand. But time will tell.

  11. I would love to see Gap rebound. I pop in there on occasion, but rarely buy anything. However, this past fall, I found the cutest sleevless top with the best little bird print. So unique! I scooped it up, along with the scarf in the same print. The SA said it was a very limited edition print and was selling out quickly. Duh... do more stuff like that, Gap! That's the kind of thing I'd like to buy.

  12. This is good news, I loved The Gap when I was in college, it would be great if they made a comeback. I was in our local store after the holidays and it was like a ghost town, no people, very little in the way of merchandise, but the two SAs seemed friendly. My dd found a gold metalic purse on clearance that she loved. This was literally my first gap purchase in probably over 10 years.


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