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Banana Republic rejuvenates its brand identity in new campaigns

By Rachel Douglass

7 Sep 2021

Fashion

Image: Banana Republic

Apparel and lifestyle retailer Banana Republic has revealed a new look for the brand, reminiscent of its global heritage and with the goal of transforming the label’s roots into a modern style.

The 43 year old brand will be remodelling its customer experience, through updated apparel design, digital transformations and in-store upgrades. Its first move comes with two autumn 2021 campaigns ‘Imagined Worlds’ and ‘The New Look’, centred around the brand’s origins in global exploration and inspiration.

Alongside a new collection, the ‘Imagined Worlds’ campaign is inspired by travelling and fictional folklore worlds, such as Middle Earth and Westeros. The fresh identity and positioning aim to highlight the brand’s new direction, as it looks to target the modern-day consumer.

Image: Banana Republic

Part of Power Plan 2023

“We started with a very clear vision of what this iconic American company can be and what we need to do in terms of our product quality and design, packaging and service, our digital experiences, and experiences in our stores to bring this vision to life in a way that excites culture and moves our business,” said Sandra Stangl, brand president and CEO, in a statement.

Stangl joined the company as the new CEO towards the end of 2020, tasked with the challenge of bringing the brand back to its heritage status as part of the Gap Group’s Power Plan 2023. The omnichannel focused plan aims to reconnect with the Gap consumer, with a goal of building up buyer confidence again while attracting new customers.

Stangl continued: “This fall is just the beginning for Banana Republic. We embark on an adventure of our lifetimes, led by creativity, curiosity, and a newfound drive. The excitement is palpable across the entire organisation as we all dream about the opportunities to transform this iconic lifestyle brand into a forever brand: always relevant, always current, never not modern.”

Image: Banana Republic Official Site

A new design direction: The New Look

Chief brand officer Ana Andjelic said on the new design direction: “With The New Look, our goal is to create silhouettes and branding that is always nostalgic and simultaneously contemporary. Just like punk and yuppie defined a decade and grunge and metrosexual clashed on the same streets, The New Look blurs sartorial codes.”

As part of The New Look collection, the brand offers a range of traveller inspired pieces, including cargo pants, a photojournalist vest, leather jumpsuits and suede trench dresses. The autumn 2021 collection focuses on bringing back materials the clothing brand was once known for, such as Italian merino wool, silk and cashmere. Design elements contrast between workwear and casual wear.

“The New Look is less about fashion and more about living,” explains Andjelic. To get there, we mixed the mythical American look, San Francisco imagination, and the late 90s. Keywords are utilitarian chic and modern casual wear. Safari meets tuxedo, formalwear meets casualwear, menswear meets womenswear, vintage meets tailoring, functionality meets imagination.”