Byline: David Moin

NEW YORK — Blair Gordon, who has held top store and creative positions at Nautica and Polo Ralph Lauren, is joining J.Crew as executive vice president and creative director, WWD learned Wednesday.
Gordon most recently was executive vice president of specialty retail at Nautica Enterprises, and is expected to join J.Crew on Jan. 7. Before Nautica, he was vice president of creative services for retail at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.
At J.Crew, Gordon succeeds Lori Wagner, who left last August. He will be involved in all creative aspects of the catalog, stores and Web site, as well as marketing, and will report to Mark Sarvary, J.Crew’s chief executive officer.
The position is a critical one, considering J.Crew wants to sharpen its stores so that they better project the brand image and are more consistent with the catalog imagery.
It’s been a tough year for most of retailing, including J.Crew, and now the company is seeking to further differentiate from such American brands and most direct competition as Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch. J.Crew plans to double its store count to 260 stores by 2005.

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