After 29 years of business in New York, Banana Republic has transitioned into a more casual fashion retail experience. A remake of the brand’s food hall concept and hot new app, the purveyor of washed jeans and crop tops is living off of the brick-and-mortar. With that said, there is a lot to own at Banana Republic’s location on Constitution Avenue in L.A. and they are seeking to keep you in contact with design, architecture, service, and return customer experience.
Retail co-founder Aaron Posner says the idea came to them after the closing of Gap’s clothing store in 1995. Posner recalls there were a lot of great places for Gap to offer their customers, but “a feeling of what was going on and different experiences where they thought like other types of stores where prices were lower, but experiences were less out there”. Seeing Gap’s closing pushed him to think about how to pursue that vision with the retail division of Banana Republic.
As seen on the design team’s platform Banana Republic’s back to basics philosophy. The artisanal fabric concept of the revamp allows for its customers to purchase and purchase again, or times when goods would have been removed because of “looking like something else” Posner says. “The customer gets what they want in terms of quality and design” is the message that Banana Republic is producing.
A taste of Banana Republic’s concept is live bacchanal. The idea of a bar is to create the most unique beach-like clothing. You can have a drink in the varsity-size, banana straw body and free cash are offered to any customer who swipes their Banana Republic card. The room will be a great place to go for a pint of Hennessy or warm up from the sun during lunch.
With fashion ephemera aside, the coolest thing on the collection is an exclusive embroidered desert jacket marked “Realist”, which is currently a limited edition. Posner says its been done by visionaries such as Steven Alan (who worked on Louise Bourgault pieces and came up with the phrase “modest”) and Arthur Wadsworth (who in his time worked on classics like Saint Laurent). “What is really important to us was going to be a versatile wardrobe of different silhouettes, at a different price point, but doing it tastefully and using different angles in a very beautiful way” Posner shares.
Anticipation is high for Banana Republic’s coming “Make it Matter” campaign, which is slated to premiere on September 19. A full campaign trailer will be released on Monday, September 17. A social press push is also coming soon, and creative is being developed, according to Posner.
With modern, handmade, and hand-made fabrics, the company emphasizes that no brick-and-mortar fashion can replace the memory of an aesthetic. “With so many places shutting their doors in store and clothing being like a badge of shame” Posner says, “this concept of a store where you get what you want in terms of quality and design and there’s a bevy of product was once very prevalent”. For more information, visit BananaRepublic.com or follow the brand on Instagram @BananaRepublic.