How to elevate the summer wardrobe? Michael Anderson, Banana Republic’s senior vice president of design, made it his mission this season. “We wanted more of a sartorial summer,” he said, explaining that the design team aimed to inject more flair into the latest lineup via new textures and embellishments, saturated colors and refined tailoring.
Inspired by the landscapes of Africa, Anderson accented the collection with Maasai tribe-inspired tartan and abstract animal prints. Silhouettes played with masculine and feminine tension — as in a striped silk wrap dress worn under a sporty bomber jacket — and riffed on utility references. A safari-inspired strapless khaki dress with a waist belt was a standout. Also covetable was the lineup’s crisp cotton shirting decorated with ruffles, bell sleeves and pussy bows.
For its men’s assortment, Anderson said he and the team continued to explore a more dressed-up offering. “All too often, the summer wardrobe gets relegated to T-shirts and shorts. We want to change that,” he said.
The design team infused casual and ath-leisure elements, what they call “everyday performance,” into more formal separates. For example, a classic seersucker suit featured stretch, while blazers were made from a soft terry. Outerwear harkened back to Banana Republic’s utilitarian heritage but was updated with water and wind-resistant fabric. The collection — accentuated with vibrant reds and plaids inspired by the African Maasai tribe — embodied Banana Republic’s design ethos but also pushed it forward.