WASHINGTON — Gap has already bottomed out — at least according to its chairman, Donald Fisher.
Fisher flew in from San Francisco last week with his wife, Doris, co-chairman of the National Gallery of Art’s annual Collectors Committee meeting. Naturally, business was also on his mind. In his view, Gap’s sales bottomed out in July 2002 and it’s all up from here.
"The bottom was over at the end of July," he said. "We’ll do even better in the third quarter."
Fisher called Gap’s new president, Paul Pressler, a former Disney executive, "the perfect person for the job. He really knows how to run a business."
Asked whether he thinks his former golden boy, Mickey Drexler, will give Gap some stiff competition in his new post at J. Crew, Fisher said, "It’s a small company, but sure he will. I hope he does well.’’
Fisher also met with congressional representatives. "Those congressional offices, some of them don’t have any air conditioning,’’ he said.
While Doris Fisher was busy voting to buy a new sculpture by Tony Firth for the National Gallery, the Gap chairman explained, "I spent the day lobbying Congress for CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement," adding that he took time to help some members of Congress with their geography. "Some of them are not so sure where it stops.’’
Fisher said his efforts are aimed at following up on President Bush’s April 11 meeting with leaders from the five Central American nations. At that time, Special Trade Representative Robert Zoellick called on the leaders of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to help build congressional support.
Fisher had another chance to make his pitch Tuesday night when gallery trustees went to dinner at the home of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) and his wife, Sharon. At a dinner the following night at the National Gallery opening for the sculpture exhibition by 18th century French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon, Doris Fisher explained her day.
"The curator showed us four pieces of sculpture, and we voted to buy a piece by Tony Firth entitled ‘Die,’ which stands for a single dice,’’ she said, adding that she and her husband, who collect contemporary art, have a "small piece’’ by Firth in their private collection. The Collectors Committee, she explained, was founded 27 years ago for the gallery to buy works of living artists. "Each member pays $10,000 a year,’’ she said. She joined in 1982 and has been co-chair since 1995; her co-chairman is Barney A. Epsworth, founder of INTRAN, Royal Cruise Line and Clipper Cruise Line.In 1998, the Fishers donated a sculpture by Sol LeWitt entitled "Four-Sided Pyramid’’ to the National Gallery’s Sculpture Garden, which opened in September.
Don Fisher also took time out from the party to consider the Nike lawsuit currently before the Supreme Court. At issue is Nike’s vigorous public relations campaign to defend itself against allegations that it, like Gap, used overseas sweatshops. Critics say Nike’s defense amounted to false advertising. Nike, the world’s largest manufacturer of athletic shoes, contends it has a First Amendment right to explain itself to its customers.
"I think it’s a ridiculous suit and Nike is right on it,’’ said Fisher. "How else can you defend yourself?’’
As for Gap’s sweatshop problems, he said, "It’s all over. It all got settled. We do the best job we can overseas.’’
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)