by Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
When Marissa Webb came onboard at Banana Republic in April as EVP Creative Director, The Impressionist took note. Webb has some experience after all, not only cutting her teeth as a Design Director at J. Crew but launching her own designer collection last year as well. She arrived at a time when GAP, owners of Banana Republic, reported annual earnings showing BR’s 2013 comp sales to be down a percent and perhaps in need of a fresh look.
Forever hopeful we’ve kept our eye on Banana Republic for signs of a revival. And on Wednesday evening a cryptic message via Banana Republic’s Instagram account implied a fresh look was indeed on it’s way.
Today Banana Republic unveiled some of their newness via a few images from their forthcoming Fall 2014 ad campaign styled by Marissa as well as new looks to it’s website. The Fall ad campaign moves away from cast of models and features real yet fashionable couples including Tenzin Wild, Creative Director & Founder of The Last Magazine, and actress, Tao Okamoto; couple Ben Hill and Zuzana Gregorova; couple Kel Markey and Miles Garber, singer / songwriter Aloe Blacc and his wife, recording artist and songwriter Maya Jupiter.
“The New Look of Banana Republic reflects our charge towards authenticity in storytelling, where fashion is front and center,” says Catherine Sadler, Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Fall is a continuation of the marketing platform we first introduced this spring, and now we’re excited to share the next chapter.”
The next chapter includes not only print ads in September issues but plans to utilize Snapchat and paid Instagram advertising to build buzz around the new BR.
“This Fall collection and campaign bring us to a more modern, fresh place, that’s still deeply rooted in our heritage,” said Jack Calhoun, Global President, Banana Republic. “Under Marissa’s creative direction, we’re embracing a bold aesthetic that’s more relevant to the way our customers live their lives. This is just the beginning of exciting things to come.”
A look at Banana Republic’s website and instagram hints to what Jack spoke of, displaying Marissa’s mix of hi-lo styling with what appears to be a more streamline and fashionable merchandising mix. As for us, we are hopeful the #newBR delivers on it’s slogan, bring innovation in both merchandise, marketing and a season of prosperous surprises for customers and shareholders alike.
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