NEW YORK — Banana Republic has collaborated with Milly designer Michelle Smith to produce a 60-plus item collection for men and women bowing in May at select Banana Republic locations worldwide and online.
The project involved a learning curve for Smith, who designed men’s wear for the first time.
Simon Kneen, Banana Republic’s creative director and executive vice president of design, said Smith was interested in how the retailer would interpret her unabashedly feminine style for men’s wear. “It was shrinking down the scale of her prints and working with a more muted palate,” Kneen said. “I don’t think Michelle thought her style could be translated into men’s wear. I was excited by the challenge and she was open to the idea. We’re turning the Milly brand into something interesting for our guys.” Kneen said he hopes Smith will launch men’s wear in her own business. “At this time, the Banana Republic Milly Collection is the only men’s wear I’ve designed, but I’m always open to new challenges,” Smith said.
Banana Republic has embraced hook-ups with designers, films and other examples of popular culture. Last year, the company introduced its second “Mad Men” collection; launched a capsule collection inspired by the film “Anna Karenina,” created a line with Trina Turk, and sold flight crew uniforms similar to those it designed for Virgin Airlines.
“[Collaborations] add a whole different layer,” said Kneen. “What really makes a good collaboration is the fact that there’s a really strong story to tell. In Milly’s case, she has a strong sense of color, while for ‘Mad Men,’ it was the iconic style of the Camelot period that got my antenna up. They’ve all been very successful and that’s why we’re interested in continuing them.”
Smith came to mind when “we were looking for something very summery, inspired by the Hamptons summer feeling of great homes and beautiful beaches,” Kneen said. “The easy, breezy style of Milly and her Hamptons-chic style is a new take on aspirational summer dressing for our consumers.”
The collection, which incorporates a new print created for the capsule and six updated Milly prints, is priced from $45 to $175 for women’s apparel, $24.50 to $64.50 for men’s wear, and $39.50 to $130 for jewelry and accessories.
Kneen said the partnership will give Smith exposure she might not get otherwise. “Banana is a household name. We can take Michelle to places she’s never been before,” he said, referring to the an advertising campaign breaking in June.
“It’s a very positive, happy collection,’ Smith said. “The colors and patterns capture the modern spirit of summer.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion