Banana Republic has recruited Narciso Rodriguez to rev up its fashion offering.
The specialty retailer, owned by Gap Inc., on Tuesday said Rodriguez will assume an advisory role on Aug. 20, working alongside Simon Kneen, executive vice president and creative director. The first collection bearing the imprint of the Rodriguez-Banana Republic partnership will launch for fall 2013.
“At Banana Republic, we are committed to delivering modern, stylish workwear to our customers,” said Jack Calhoun, president of Banana Republic. “Narciso’s expertise will be a great complement to Simon’s strengths and to our incredible design team.”
Rodriguez is expected to add a fresh perspective to further Banana Republic’s positioning, Calhoun said. Banana Republic has partnered with Trina Turk for a capsule collection, as well as the costume designers for AMC’s “Mad Men” and the upcoming film "Anna Karenina." “Man Men” has been credited with helping Banana Republic post $622 million in sales, its best first quarter ever, and a 7.4 percent increase over last year’s quarter. Gap Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Glenn Murphy called the collection “the cool factor, that edgy factor, those special products that Banana Republic is known for.”
While the position of adviser is new to Banana Republic, it’s familiar to other Gap Inc. brands. Sources close to the company said the idea of hiring seasoned talent in advisory roles was the brainchild of Murphy. The need for talent arose during the protracted search for a replacement for Patrick Robinson, head of Gap Adult design, who was forced out. A replacement has not yet been named. In January, Tracy Gardner, former president of J. Crew Group Inc., took an advisory role at Gap’s Global Creative Center. Jill Stanton, who was vice president of global apparel at Nike Inc., in February became a creative adviser for Old Navy. “[Rodriguez] is going to function in a similar role,” the source said. “There are still in-house teams. Gap Inc. is trying to give the product teams additional creative support and help them collaborate.”
Rodriguez is known for architectural, modern silhouettes. His collection has twice won the Council of Fashion Designers of America award for best women’s wear designer. His line was recently expanded to include shoes and Rodriguez is launching in the fall a limited-edition collection at Kohl’s Corp. inspired by Istanbul.
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