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By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist

Banana Republic heads to the open road for spring with a campaign driven by EVP of Design and Creative Director, Marissa Webb, along with Laird + Partners CEO and Chief Creative Officer, Trey Laird. Together this creative duo is reshaping the established retailer’s image while helping parent company Gap Inc. deliver some welcome news of positive growth to the street. The Impression loves a duo who delivers on multi fronts and sat to chat with them in our exclusive on the upcoming Spring 2015 ad campaign which breaks in March books.

Marissa & Trey, congratulations on the campaign and current business. Love to hear the good word. Can you share with us how the campaign came about and what the inspiration was behind it?
Marissa: My inspiration for summer was “On the Road” — reflective of both Banana Republic’s journey as a brand, and a nod to all the great adventures people have over the summer.banana-republic-spring-2015-ad-campaign-the-impression-01

Looks like you had a hot one on your hands with that desert shoot in more ways than one. Can you share with us a little about the art direction and choosing photographer Cedric Buchet?
Trey: This season Marissa kept talking about capturing that feeling of being out on an endless road surrounded by only natural, atmospheric elements. So the feeling of sky, light, desert, and freedom is what we set out to capture.

The deserts of the Southwest are powerfully American landscapes, yet have a universal emotional appeal.  And Banana Republic is like that too… American yet global. We wanted to create an ease and sexy simplicity to reflect the new mood Marissa is bringing to the collection — and it was a nice way to say “summer ” without being on a typical beach or something.

So off we went with Cedric, who has a naturalness and ease to his work, which felt right.

So Marissa, what do you find as the key to success in partnering with Trey and an agency such as Laird + Partners?
Marissa: We have strong communication and dialogue. It’s important to have a collaborative partnership.

Noticed the casting shifted from real-life couples in the last several seasons to models, why the change?
Marissa: We like to keep things interesting and fresh and constantly evolving. It’s not formulaic. We could go back to real-life couples, who knows?

How do you see Banana Republic’s campaign direction evolving?
Trey: Our campaigns will continue to evolve as the brand evolves on this journey, but we’ll always remain true to ourselves and the spirit of Banana Republic. We want to share our personality and a strong fashion point of view that’s inspiring and brought to life by interesting and relatable people who reflect an aspirational, stylish and versatile BR lifestyle.

Marissa, what was your favorite part of the shoot?
Marissa: The vintage convertible! Oldies are goodies. I was ready to drive it home.

So who drinks more water in the desert, you or Trey?
Marissa: Trey! Water’s too healthy. Coke’s my drink of choice.

You are obviously used to partnering with fellow Creative Directors/Designers; how much fun was it to work with Marissa, and how hard was it to keep her from tweeting the entire campaign day?
Trey: It’s great working with Marissa.  She has brought such a freshness and modern eye to Banana Republic. We immediately hit it off and usually don’t stop talking (and laughing) whenever we are together!

In my job, I collaborate with all types of designers to help realize their vision….. and it’s not always easy. But Marissa has such a clear point of view, it makes my job much more smooth and rewarding. She does indeed put me to shame in all things Social Media. I am more of a behind the scenes person — and Marissa is constantly connected. She can post something, re-post, tweet, comment & like it all in the blink of an eye — usually while also doing 20 other things at once! In heels!

She can also eat more than any person I’ve ever met!  She has me beat in that department too….

But I keep tempting her to come to SoulCycle with me, so at least I can hopefully hold my own at SOMETHING with the amazing Marissa Webb!

Have not got her there yet, but right after Fashion Week — it’s game on MW!

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Agency | Laird + Partners
Creative Director | Trey Laird, CEO and Chief Creative Officer
Banana Republic Creative Director | Marissa Webb, EVP of Design and Creative Director
Producer |Leonie Wilson, North Six – NY
Photographer | Cedric Buchet
Models | Lily Donaldson (IMG) & Jon Kortajarena (IMG)
Stylist | Micah Johnson
Hair | Akki
Make-up | Francelle Daly
Set Designer | Colin Donahue
Shoot Location | Skyline Ranch in Palm Springs, CA
Music | Midnight Moon

collection shown hits stores beginning April 2015