NEW YORK — Banana Republic will convert its Bleecker Street store in Greenwich Village to the first stand-alone Monogram concept store on April 7. It will remain open for nine months and will serve as a laboratory for the brand. 

Monogram is the company’s “elevated brand concept,” shorthand for a higher-priced, more-sophisticated collection. The men’s wear, which is heavy on tailored pieces and is more fashion-forward, debuted last fall and is priced about 30 percent higher than Banana’s flagship collection. It boasts Italian fabrics and a slimmer fit than those found in the general collection. 

The women’s Monogram merchandise is launching this spring. Accessories are planned for fall ’08 and will be added to the store when available. 

“Monogram offers our customers the best of city style and we are eager to showcase the collection in a dedicated environment for our New York City customers,” said Jack Calhoun, president of Banana Republic, in a statement. 

A spokesperson said there are no plans for other stand-alone Monogram stores, but the collection will continue to be sold in select Banana Republic stores nationwide as well as online.