NEW YORK — Gap is retooling its design team, cutting out a layer of management while taking in some top Seventh Avenue talent.

This story first appeared in the April 1, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Among the changes, Jerome Jessup, executive vice president of Gap Design, is leaving the company, and design heads of Gap adult and GapKids/babyGap divisions will now report to Gary Muto, Gap president.

Pina Ferlisi, formerly with Theory and Marc Jacobs, is joining Gap brand’s New York-based design office as senior vice president of design and product development, and Louise Trotter will become vice president of women’s design. Ferlisi succeeds Amy Hennisch, who left the company, while Trotter will fill a newly created post. Jessup’s job will not be filled.

Ferlisi will report to Muto and oversee all aspects of product design and product development for the brand’s adult apparel and accessories division. She joins Gap from Theory, where she was senior vice president of design. Prior to Theory, Ferlisi was creative director for Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Trotter will report to Ferlisi. Most recently, Trotter was creative director for CK Women’s Jeans.

The changes are intended to help Gap sustain its turnaround, which began to materialize last fall. Thanks to the recent return to serve “Every Generation” with classic, casual clothing, Gap last October managed its first comp increase after a 2 1/2-year losing streak and the momentum continued into the holidays. The company even managed to increase its regular-priced selling and improve markdown margin.