October 11, 2019
Old Navy is now the #1 specialty men's retailer in America1. Meet the guy leading the team making all the magic – Todd Dell’Aquila, VP of Men’s Merchandising. He’s a true Gap Inc. veteran who has spent the last 11 years expanding his merchandising experience across our portfolio of brands, all of which has equipped him to be the great leader he is today. Continue reading to learn what makes Todd #oldnavyproud.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE: Basically, I act as a steward of the Men’s business, helping the team to deliver on our Men’s mission: ‘To create the best versions of the most important pieces in his closet; designed with exceptional quality + style, offered at an incredible everyday value, and always easy + convenient for him to shop.’
WHAT LED YOU TO OLD NAVY: I joined Gap Inc. and the Retail Management Program (RPM) straight out of college. Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into, but I liked Gap clothes and the idea of a rotational program, and San Francisco seemed like a fun city for my early 20s. My first rotation was in ON Men’s Merchandising and I knew immediately that I’d stumbled into what felt like a perfect job for me. Over the last 11 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work at all the Gap Inc. brands and divisions before officially joining Old Navy a few years ago.
WHAT SETS OLD NAVY APART: It is the ultimate cliché, but it's our people. I really believe that. We hire incredibly talented people who care about the brand, our customers and each other,… not to mention – creating great product. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
BEST PART ABOUT YOUR TEAM: Everyone is aligned in one direction and puts team and company over self. That, and “sandwich day” (which is just like it sounds – ordering sandwiches + lunching as a team).
WHAT MAKES A #GREATBOSS: There are many qualities, and I’m lucky to have had my share of great bosses here. For me, it boils down to two things – listening + inspiring. Listening to employees and acknowledging their feedback, concerns and ideas is critical. Inspiring them to do great work is equally important. A great boss brings out the best in their team.
ADVICE FOR OTHER LEADERS: One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was, “Always be your same authentic self at work and in your personal life.” Leadership that starts there is genuine and often far more respected.
ADVICE FOR SOMEONE EARLY ON IN THEIR CAREER: The best thing you can do for your career early on is to pursue what you love. It’s as simple as that. Find work that gives you energy and excites you.
WHAT MAKES YOU #OLDNAVYPROUD: Launching new, market-changing product that leapfrogs the competition (ex. Dynamic Fleece, Karate Denim, Ultimate Tech). It takes an incredible amount of work across the entire cross-functional team to execute these launches from the strategic groundwork to fabric development, from sweating the design details and negotiating costs to perfecting the fit and landing the right buy, and from creating compelling marketing to executing in-store. When we see the customer respond with such enthusiasm to product and all the hard work behind it, it makes me very #oldnavyproud.
1 NPD Group / Consumer Tracking Service as of August 2019