Behind the relaunch of the Banana Republic brand
This fall, Banana Republic launched a new look, with a new brand promise, an enhanced product and a renewed store experience. We met the brand’s chief marketing officer, Meena Anvary; Head of Visual Merchandising, Kristi argo; Male Merchandising Manager, Ceri Williams; and Woman Merchandising Manager, Lauren Kazemi, to find out more about the direction Banana Republic is taking, the inspiration behind the Fall 2021 collection, and of course, their favorite products.
Q: How is the new positioning of the Banana Republic brand different?
Méena: Our new positioning and brand promise is based on the authenticity of our brand and reinvents it for today in the form of democratic, accessible and inclusive luxury. We have taken a 360 approach to reintroduce BR to our customers through product, experience and brand storytelling. We elevate every touchpoint with customers, from immersive product stories seen in stores and on digital platforms, to the incredible quality of our products and luxury fabrics. How we have evolved is more telling of how people dress today and live their lives in a multidimensional way. We pay homage to our heritage in a modern, iconic and accessible way. It’s about mixing different genres and ways of dressing to make it your own.
Q: How did the new brand positioning materialize in stores?
Kristi: We redesigned the in-store shopping experience in a spirit of adventure and exploration. We have created an experience that engages all of their senses in our interiors, what they see, touch, hear, smell and taste. The power of storytelling is more relevant than ever. We engage our customers in the world of travel and adventure, while keeping craftsmanship and timeless design at the heart of everything we do. What we bring into our store interiors has meaning and authenticity. The clay bead chandeliers are handcrafted by a group of women in South Africa. The rugs are handcrafted in the Atlas Mountains by the Berber people in the same sustainable way they were made hundreds of years ago. The black and white photography, exclusive to BR, is taken by our lead photographer who raises awareness about preserving the land in South Africa, where these animals live. These are just a few examples of the work we do to bring the brand vision to life in our stores.
Q: Let’s move on to the product. What was the inspiration behind the Fall 2021 collection?
Ceri: It was born from the idea of taking a look in your wardrobe and redesigning the essentials so that they are timeless classics that are the best possible: the softest fabrics, refined details, proportions that define the brand and a perfect fit. We also looked to our heritage for inspiration and grounding, and then layered fashion-related pieces together.
Lauren: Design also returned to the brand’s inception, which took military-inspired pieces of men’s clothing and fitted them with exaggerated proportions on a woman. They have used this philosophy and interpreted it through a modern lens with all of our new products.
Q: What does it mean for a product to be “high”?
Ceri: This means that everything about the product has been treated with care, attention and love. From the fabric, to the fit, to the logo, to the way it’s marketed, it visually shows up in stores and on-site, and the way sellers talk about it.
Q: What items do you particularly like from this collection?
Ceri: The long silk shirt dress for women and the cashmere hoodie for men!
Lauren: Lots of things, but my must-haves have been the men’s cashmere crew neck in this beautiful camel color, the men’s flannel in this cool pattern, this modern gold bangle and the ladies ribbed turtleneck.
Gap inc. published this content on October 27, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on October 29, 2021 06:01:10 PM UTC.