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Designs on Success
Rainer Hosch
Rainer Hosch

Patrick Robinson

Executive Vice President of Design
Gap Adult and Gap Body

After stints at Armani, Perry Ellis, and Paco Rabanne, Patrick Robinson is leading Gap's design team.

"I've been walking by Gap for the past five years and screaming at the windows. Since I took the job, I'll be on a plane and someone will ask what I do. I tell them I'm the head of Gap design and they just go off on me. You hear it from analysts on Wall Street, friends, family—everyone.

Gap is supposed to make classic American clothes—the pea coat, the white shirt, the denim jean—cooler and more relevant every year. It's not a brand that should play like H&M and Zara, where it's a takedown from the fashion runways.

Wall Street will tell me if it's mission accomplished. The public votes with the purchase of the stock. But for me, the true indicator of success is getting people excited when they come to the store and having them walk out with a shopping bag."

A version of this article appeared in the March 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.