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Strike a Posen

zac posen
Jst three months into his tenure at Old Navy, people seem to like Zac Posen, and how he’s handling things. Photo: Cindy Ord/VF24/Getty Images for Vanity Fair
Lauren Sherman
April 29, 2024

When Zac Posen, the designer of stunty Met Gala frocks and meticulously constructed ball gowns, was appointed creative director of Gap Inc. in February—a job that ostensibly put him in charge of the design, merchandising, and marketing of Old Navy, one of the largest and unsexiest clothing brands in the world—few people thought he would actually show up for his new remit. No matter how invaluable his advice might be to Gap Inc. C.E.O. Richard Dickson, red carpet guys like Posen don’t typically engage on a day-to-day basis, and they certainly don’t spend their days hovering around the office Keurig machine. They go to the Vanity Fair party and get photographed standing on the bullseye in a Banana Republic suit, as Posen did this past Oscars season. 

Naturally, fashion cynics began taking bets on just how long Posen might last in the spot. After all, he has no real experience selling affordable clothing, unless you count his six-year stint at Brooks Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in 2020. (Posen left amid the restructuring.) Six months? A year? Perhaps he’d be gone from Old Navy, maker of American flag t-shirts, in 18 months, after trying to reinvigorate revenue, which dropped from $9 billion in 2021 to $8 billion last year.