Welcome Professor Bay
Trendspotter, fashion designer, creative director and now affiliate professor of fashion at Design School Kolding. Rebekka Bay symptomatically struggled to accept her new honorary title as affiliate professor as she gave her inaugural lecture at Design School Kolding. Throughout her career and despite a series of successful jobs with major international fashion brands, she has never quite been able to think of herself as a fashion designer.
- I’m not a fashion designer, she kept repeating.
The thematic headline for Rebekka Bay’s lecture was the balancing act of maintaining your integrity while having a commercial focus. Before going to Design School Kolding, Rebekka Bay trained to be a cutter and completed a series of theoretical art and culture courses in university.
- For the life of me I didn’t want to become a fashion designer. I did everything in my power to avoid it, she said.
- And there’s still a part of me that tries to avoid that part of who I am. I don’t see myself as a designer.
However, her CV tells a different story. She has been in charge of the creation and launch of COS, worked as Creative Director at Bruuns Bazaar and Creative Director and Executive Vice President, Head of Global Design hos GAP in New York.
Rebekka Bay kickstarted her career when she was heavily pregnant and selected to market the new brand COS with a staff of three. Within a few years the new H&M quality brand almost exploded.
- COS was based on dialogue. I’m a good communicator and good at spotting trends in poetry, music, architecture and art, but I’m no designer, Rebekka curiously says.
After a brief time in Denmark as creative director at Bruuns Bazar, Rebekka accepted a top position as vice director at Gap. The conditions were American. Everything was BIG. The collections, the number of staff. Managing 150 people was new to her and required a lot. How do you get that many people to be on the same page? Rebekka Bay learned how during the two and a half years she was with the company. In the beginning of 2015 she left her position.
- I’ve learned so much. Not least how to create a vision for a huge team. I still don’t know what the future will bring. I will still be making products but one thing is certain, I never make the same thing twice.