The Gap brand’s vice president and creative director, Dennis Leggett, a veteran of the chain, has departed after 14 years.
One source said Leggett became frustrated working at Gap, which has been struggling to regain market share and get more customers to shop its stores. A Gap spokeswoman had no further information on what triggered his departure or if he has a new job. Leggett was Gap brand’s second-highest-ranking marketing executive, next to Ivy Ross, executive vice president of marketing for the Gap brand and a former Disney Stores executive.
Separately, Laird + Partners, the creative agency that, since 2002, has created several major campaigns for Gap brand including spring 2010 and is working on the store’s black pants campaign hitting in August, might play a bigger role in the corporation’s efforts to revive the image. One possibility is for the holiday campaign. “We have not announced our holiday plans yet,” said the spokeswoman. “We have a long-standing relationship with Laird + Partners and we work with a roster of agencies, depending on the project. We don’t rely on any one agency of record.”
“I really can’t comment,” said Trey Laird, chief executive officer and creative officer of Laird + Partners, who formerly worked at Peter Arnell and Donna Karan. Since 2002, Laird + Partners has created several campaigns for Gap including the Audrey Hepburn fall 2006 campaign, the Red campaign to help fight AIDS in Africa in 2006, Your Own Gap in fall 2008 and Classics Redefined in 2007. Gap campaigns have been celebrity-centric, filled with personalities from sports, Hollywood, television and music. Last year’s holiday campaign for Gap brand was created in partnership with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which also created the quirky SuperModelquins campaign for the Old Navy division, considered successful.
Gap has been showing some stronger financials and more appealing denim assortments built around its 1969 premium jeans strategy, but lacks vitality in other categories and continues to struggle to recapture market share. Still, management has been gaining confidence in the product and has expressed a willingness to ramp up the marketing. Last month, comparable-store sales at Gap North America were down 3 percent. In May, Gap North America’s sales were down 2 percent, but in April they rose 2 percent.