Women to Watch: Gigi Guerra, Target
Design Partnerships Curator
Gigi Guerra is somewhat of a grunge-era fashion legend. As a shopgirl at influential Lower East Side boutique TG170 in the mid-'90s, she met dozens of magazines doyennes. Current Lucky Editor-In-Chief Brandon Holley eventually hired her to style an early cover of Time Out New York featuring the cast of "Rent."
Ms. Guerra's first staff job was assisting Rachel Zoe in the fashion closet of YM. She went on to become a senior editor at Jane, as well as the executive editor of Lucky under founding editor Kim France, where she led the reporting and scouting for the mag's famous city shopping guides. "She is a visionary who doesn't just spot trends -- she makes them up and makes them happen," says former boss Jane Pratt, who now runs XOJane.com.
In 2008, Guerra was plucked from Condé Nast by Mickey Drexler, who hired her as the marketing director of fashion retailer Madewell, the cool little sister of J.Crew's madcap preppy. "Editorial to marketing is not a typical shift -- I credit Madewell with letting me jump into it and learn as I went," Ms. Guerra says of her time working under Mr. Drexler.
Five years and a VP title later, Ms. Guerra left to join Target as design partnerships curator. The new role requires the exec to travel the country -- and often, the world -- searching for new designers, stores and brands for the big box's steady stream of collaborations. (Past participants are as far-reaching as Italian knitwear label Missoni and New York menswear shop Odin. Contemporary label 3.1 Phillip Lim is the latest to create a line for the retailer -- his collection hits stores Sept. 15.) For someone whose greatest gift is knowing what's new and next, Target is a dream gig. "It's a great progression and combines a lot of what I've done in the past," she said.
New York City
"Among the many odd jobs I had during college was walking a pot-belly pig. Its name was Francis Bacon. (I swear.)"
Ms. Guerra has a dachshund. But, she said, "I've always wanted a pet rat. Seriously. They're really intelligent. But I've never gotten one because I travel quite a bit and I'd imagine it would be difficult to get someone to house-sit a rat."