Remember Banana Republic’s safari look?
It’s a basic, and was among the many hottest traits within the ’80s. Now it’s popping up once more in restricted provide with “Banana Republic Vintage” non permanent outlets showing on bananarepublic.com and contained in the Banana Republic flagship in Manhattan’s FlatIron neighborhood starting Thursday.
Four months in the past when Ana Andjelic grew to become Banana’s chief model officer, one of many first issues she did was to discover the retailer’s archives, that are stuffed with hundreds of clothes and catalogues from its 43-year historical past. “It was as if we had opened a treasure chest of curiosities,” Andjelic informed WWD. “We found stacks and stacks of really 40-year safari-inspired clothing and T-shirts with logos and photographs and realized that if it was taken out now and put on sale, it would be the most modern thing. The brand is relevant in any time. If you look on social media, every time we host a vintage catalogue or T-shirt, it’s like a confessional. Memories just pour out. We decided why don’t we bring the nostalgia back?”
Andjelic sees Banana Republic Vintage having a twin enchantment — to Banana’s older viewers moved by nostalgia and to Gen Zers shopping for up secondhand garments to assist the round financial system and recycling.
Banana Republic was based by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978 initially because the Banana Republic Travel & Safari Clothing Company. They opened two shops in California that have been stuffed with the safari-themed garments, reflecting their love of journey. As a part of their adventures all over the world, they collected surplus clothes for the shops and created a travel-oriented catalogue. In 1983, Gap Inc. bought the corporate, shortened the title to “Banana Republic,” and rolled out shops cross-country. After a number of profitable years, the safari development performed out, and Banana advanced with a extra upscale picture with a work-to-wear element and “affordable luxury.”
The model has had its ups and downs within the twenty first century and has been present process a multiyear downsizing. In the primary quarter of this yr, Banana Republic Global noticed comparable gross sales drop 4 p.c year-over-year and 22 p.c versus 2019. But in line with Gap Inc. chief government officer Sonia Syngal, there’s a brand new crew at Banana (together with Andjelic and Sandra Stangl, president and CEO since November 2020) making strides in realigning the pricing structure, enhancing the shop expertise and updating model inventive. Andjelic’s in depth expertise contains serving as performing chief advertising officer at Mansur Gavriel, chief model officer at Rebecca Minkoff and government model guide for David Yurman.
To assemble the Banana Republic Vintage assortment, the corporate partnered with third-party secondhand sources.
The assortment is proscribed, with 260 items which might promote out quick. Safari jackets, khaki pants, the “photo journalist” jackets and vests, bush vests, military-inspired multi pocket pants, shorts, leather-based jackets and a spread of T-shirts with Banana Republic imagery are included within the assortment. Some items from the ’90s — Hawaiian floral print shirts, safari hats, belts and plenty of denim jackets, shirts and skirts — are included. In the ’80s, the Banana Republic kinds have been “very oversize, very comfortable — not tailored,” Andjelic mentioned.
The Flatiron retailer could have a curated choice that may’t be discovered on-line. Andjelic mentioned Banana Republic Vintage will likely be priced decrease than the resale market.
The classic store will likely be promoted on the highest of the homepage of Banana’s web site, which customers click on on to buy the precise store. There will likely be about 150 items displayed on-line and 50 items within the Flatiron retailer. All objects are remaining sale. Accompanying the marketing campaign will likely be pictures by Pamela Henson and appears by stylist Jessica Willi.
“Banana’s style is relevant in any time,” Andjelic mentioned. “It’s a way for us to use the magic of archives and heritage to attract a new audience.”
Banana Republic Vintage will supply spring seems. Coats and weightier kinds may very well be provided in classic drops later. “We will look at future drops based on seasonality,” Andjelic mentioned.