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Banana Republic’s new creative director Marissa Webb presented her first women’s and men’s collections for the brand at the summer 2015 presentation. Webb delivered on her mandate to bring new, relevant energy to the company, which has been limping behind the competition in recent seasons. She infused the women’s lineup with a savvy blend of contrasts — neutrals and color; tomboy and girly — that were framed in classics familiar to Banana Republic, but styled with a contemporary edge. A black leather moto vest was worn over a white graphic eyelet tie-waist dress; a muted utility vest and shirt were paired with a cobalt blue pencil skirt; a soft khaki trench dress was worn as a vest over a crisp black tailored dress. Accessories, such as lace up huarache sandals and a crossbody circle bag in mint green, gave the look a polished bite.

For men, Webb drew from the BR handbook with utility details, unconstructed tailoring and athletic references, while steering the look toward a younger, more casual attitude. A sharp navy linen suit paired with a printed silk shirt and chambray tie, and a chic khaki safari blazer upped the sophistication.

This story first appeared in the November 11, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Webb said she wanted to shift Banana Republic’s focus from reliable office attire to lifestyle “what you do after you go to work and before you go to work and on the weekends, mixing and matching those pieces.” Asked if she felt pressure to work with the brand’s established look, such as tailoring trenches and suiting, Webb said “I didn’t know all the rules, so that was liberating for me.”

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