Gap Inc. announced that Simon Kneen, executive vice president of design and Creative Director for Banana Republic, will be leaving the company, effective December 31, 2013. Kneen has been in the position since January 2008.
“In the last five years with the brand, Simon has led with passion, creativity and a thoughtful approach to designing modern and versatile styles for professional men and women,” said Jack Calhoun, Global Brand President, Banana Republic. “As we compete to win on the global stage, now is the right time to make a change.”
The company said it will begin a search for a new head of design and creative director immediately.
Kneen will remain with the Banana Republic design team through the end of the year to manage through the transition. Julie Rosen, a 19-year veteran of Gap Inc., will continue in her role as EVP of Banana Republic North America, leading Merchandising and Inventory Management for the specialty business. Kneen’s final collection for Banana Republic will be Summer 2014.
Banana Republic continues its relationship with existing design collaboration partners, including L’Wren Scott, whose limited-edition collection will be available at select Banana Republic retail locations worldwide and online December 5, 2013.