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Rebekka Bay, Creative Director of Gap
We’re a culture clinging to feel-good nostalgia—a sentiment Rebekka Bay, Gap’s creative director since 2012, knows well. It’s fitting then, on the eve of the brand’s quarter-century anniversary in Canada, that her fresh design direction takes cues from the must-have pieces of her Danish youth, including the ubiquitous heather-grey Gap logo sweatshirt. “It’s a New York–Fame throwback,” says the designer, over the phone from her Manhattan HQ. “So many people have that very fond memory of the perfect sweatshirt, which was always one from Gap.” Recollections like these illustrate the way the brand, with its all-American aesthetic, resonates globally. Bay credits this to America being “the home of casual fashion,” with a realness that trumps the more theatrical act of dressing in Europe. “There’s this idea in America that you dress to fit your life rather than the other way around,” she says. “There was an authenticity that was very evident to me when I came to Gap.” She aims to take the same inclusive, democratic approach the brand has always employed, working with trends rather than defining them. As such, this fall stores are being stocked with familiar pieces, including the five iconic staples Bay selected to be modelled by some of our favourite bloggers (click through the gallery). We conclude our chat in the midst of New York Fashion Week, but her focus is already elsewhere. “I’m on fall ’15 now,” she says with a laugh. Lucky for us, her timeless classics are never out of season. —Jillian Vieira
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