Old Navy Hires Todd Oldham As Creative Director

Todd Oldham has a new job: Fixing Old Navy. According to the New York Times, Todd has been hired to attract shoppers in their 20’s, a group Old Navy has identified as their target market after years of “trying to be all things to all people.”

Old Navy is bigger than Gap or Banana Republic, but is struggling just the same. The NYT says:

Mr. Oldham, a former couture designer, has largely left the fashion industry, instead favoring home décor and furniture.

Now, Ms. Roberston said, he wants to return to clothing, but ensure his designs reach a broad audience. Old Navy, with sales of nearly $7 billion, is bigger than its corporate siblings, Gap and Banana Republic.

Ms. Robertson said Mr. Oldham’s clothing for Old Navy would be “modern and relevant,” adding that “it will be an important part of our turnaround.”

So, can Todd Oldham fix Old Navy?

Todd Oldham’s New Assignment: Old Navy [NYT]


Edit Your Comment

  1. CoffeeAddict says:

    Old Navy has grown on me over the years and now that I have kids I like it even more. If they can make it more trendy and what not that would be kewl. Todd Oldham has a good name and hopefully his good taste will help spur more sales for Old Navy in their target demographic.

  2. ElizabethD says:

    Good luck with that, Todd!

    It’s actually an intriguing move on the part of Old Navy (Gap). We shall see.

  3. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    It’s a step in the right direction: Oldom is hip, stylish, and price-aware. I walked into ON the other day and was shocked to find a mass of bulky ugly ‘snowflake print’ sweaters paired with high rise mom jeans. I thought I strolled into Chico’s by mistake.

    I might be 30-something (outside the target market, I see) but I’m not a soccer mom and I have no intentions on dressing like one. And don’t 20-year-olds have enough places to shop, like Express, Wet Seal, Bebe, H&M, Forever 21 et al? Career women in their 30s need clothes that are professional and stylish, but not marm-ish e.g. Jjill or Talbots. Banana republic comes close, but their cuts aren’t forgiving if you have an hourglass shape. Do us all a favor Gap, Co. stop spending money paying boring celebs to shill your crap, and bring back Forth & Towne!

  4. chili_dog says:

    I shop Old Navy for my boy all the time. Inexpensive and for a 6 year old, pretty cool products. Lets hope the Gap dosen’t F this up like they did with Banana Republic.

  5. CumaeanSibyl says:

    Old Navy should take over the “cheap, trendy young people” angle altogether and Gap should go back to “decent business/business casual basics.” Old Navy for cords and tees, Gap for khakis and button-downs. I think that’s how it went originally, but then both stores started overextending themselves to try to take over the same markets, except with one store being cheaper, and it just fell apart.

  6. bedofnails says:

    Maybe they’re loosing money buying all of those hi-tech headsets.

  7. liquisoft says:

    Todd Oldham doesn’t make popular designs. He did some line for Target a few years back, and it was all hideous stuff. He seems to favor extremely bold, solid colors, while the current trends in young fashion are leaning towards slightly more faded color and heavy details/embellishments. I don’t see this as being anything but trying to get a famous name tied with the Old Navy brand.

  8. bohemian says:

    Unless he can force them to use decent fabrics and consistent fit what is the point?

  9. Parting says:

    I don’t know how it’s in US, but here in Canada Old Navy uses very crappy fabrics. Basically they sell 1 time use clothing, and the prices are pretty expensive for such crap.

    Besides teens, I don’t know who shops there. (H&M for the same price gets you much better quality)

  10. Razzler says:

    Hiring a good designer is a step in the right direction, but design is just one of many problems.

    I agree with the earlier poster who said that the 20-something market is already saturated. When I worked at Old Navy (incidentally: don’t) I usually saw older adults and families shopping there. That’s the demographic they should be aiming at. Gap seems unfixable, and Banana Republic is a poor man’s J. Crew, but Old Navy still has a chance to thrive.

    Their biggest issue is quality control, if you ask me. They need to make their shit fit consistently, and make it so that it doesn’t stretch out/fall apart after 5 wears.

  11. realserendipity says:

    I used to swear by Old Navy for staples like tshirts, tank-tops,sweaters, and jeans. The tshirts were cotton, washed really well, and at $10 were a steal. My entire family knew that for gifts an old navy card was a sure deal.

    The last card I got though was last Christmas and I still have it. Everything Ive bought in the last year Ive returned because it either shrunk, shredded, or looked like crap in general. I just took a quick stroll through thier website and I found one sngle item I would buy and I am thier target market.

    Im doubting that Todd Oldham can save thier brand, what they need is to return to the old days when they got big as a company.

  12. dieman says:

    American Apparel is coming to town here (Minneapolis) and I hope they start kicking the crap out of Old Navy. Old Navy has really usually had fairly low-quality clothing and even when I worked there (incidentally echo: don’t) I didn’t really buy much of their clothes. I hated Kohls for their poor staffing policies (basically there always seems to be a total of 3 people in the entire store floor at any given time, everything is a #*@!() mess) their stocked clothing is of higher quality than Old Navy.

  13. sickofthis says:

    Amen to the comments about Old Navy quality. I’ve bought polo shirts there that faded and shrunk after a couple of washings, and I have some cargo shorts that I got last summer whose front pockets seem to be rotting out. I am fixing a new hole every weekend. Their t-shirts are thin and flimsy. I do like some of their oxford shirts, but that’s about it.

  14. jmackowi says:

    All he has to do to fix ON is keep sizing consistent and use slightly better materials. No one wants to shop at a store where you have to be careful what you buy because it might fall apart quickly. I have some ON items that have lasted for years, and would definitely shop there again if I didn’t have to thoroughly inspect everything I buy

  15. mir777 says:

    I’m brilliant, funny and bored at work, so here goes.

    I stopped shopping at Old Navy since they smugly stopped selling inexpensive and fashionable cottony clothing to cheap fatties like me. Two weeks after my first purchase, the entire department was gone and the website was down to a pair of margarine-yellow cargo shorts.

    American Apparel is staunchly for the skinnies. Old Navy could happily target us normals and fatties.

  16. badgeman46 says:

    I stopped shopping at old navy a while ago. They used to rock and have everything, now its just the same basic clothes, just in different colors.

  17. melinskidafink says:

    I still work at ON and have for over 4 years. I am a general manager of a store and although it’s very disheartening and disappointing to hear most of the comments about quality, trends and fit…I agree. Just 2 weeks ago I was at our Leadership Conference and Todd O. gave a presentation. He was very clear on his vision and I hope he gives the company the shot in the arm it needs.

    It seems for several years now that ON has been struggling to find their customer base and believe me, those of us in retail and in the stores see the same weird or super “trendy” crap and say the same thing – “Who would buy this?” TRY SELLING IT! I can say that seeing a sneak peek at new winter and spring merchandise and talking with “buyers” at the conference, I believe that more of them need to go to a real store in the Mid West to see what real people wear.