Monday, July 9, 2012

Designer Spotlight//Banana Republic

The store Banana Republic is a brand synonymous with high quality American leisure wear epitomizing classic and everyday cuts. Skirts, shirts, and pants with clean lines are signature pieces along with well-crafted accessories and jewelry. 

Something the brand is also synonymous with is the historical term "banana republic," which I hadn't heard of until I took a decent college history class. In history, the term refers to a small politically unstable country that depends on exporting goods to a larger wealthier country for their primary economic profits. 

Honduras and Guatemala are considered banana republics because they had very large pieces of land owned by American and European fruit corporations (this is where bananas come in)- huge monopolies for private profit. 

So what does this have to do with clothes? 

In 1978 husband and wife duo Mel and Patricia Zeigler started Banana Republic as a safari travel-themed clothing company. Thus, stemming from the term banana republic. They originally had only two stores and made the bulk of their profit from, once again, travel-themed illustrated catalogues featuring exotic locales. 


The Gap Inc., which now includes The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime (a personal favorite), and Athleta, bought Banana Republic in 1983 and immediately began rebranding the store to create a more upscale version of The Gap as a mainstream luxury retailer- how we see BR today.

Recently, Banana Republic has had some rather exciting collaborations that have caught the attention of  high-fashion and everyday shoppers alike. On March 1 of this year, they launched a 40-piece country club-like collection designed by Janie Bryant, the costume designer of hit series Mad Men. If you've ever watched the show, you'll notice a strong nostalgia of longing for a period you were never alive for (well, maybe some of you were). The male model for the collection looks eerily like a young version of Don Draper (Jon Hamm for those of you who don't watch the show), which is always a plus.


This summer, they launched a Trina Turk for Banana Republic collection that features the signature colorful graphics and clean lines of the higher-end designer. Model Coco Rocha starred in the ad campaign- if you haven't checked our her wildly popular tumblr, go now! She's fun to follow along with, and it's hard not to be slightly envious of her jet-setting designer-wearing lifestyle.


Banana Republic also has a wonderful tumblr that chronicles new collections and the behind the scenes of shoots and runway shows.


Whew! I know that was a bit long-winded, but I feel like it's always interesting and fun to learn where your clothes are coming from and the ideas behind them. For Designer Spotlight, I'm going to try to alternate between high-end and everyday designers and companies, so for next week, look out for something a little more exclusive.

Image sources: old school//Mad Men//Trina Turk//runway

21 comments:

  1. I never knew the meaning of banana republic so this is really interesting! Your blog is adorable and I'm a new follower :)

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart

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  2. We learn something new every day! I need to see if they still have the Trina Turk stuff. It's so cute! Stacie xo

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    1. It really is! So perfect for summer. I know there is still some online.

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  3. This is really cool and I'm embarrassed to say that I've never heard of a banana republic. Love the history behind this brand and thank you for sharing!

    Jayme @ Her Late Night Cravings

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    1. I don't think it's all too common knowledge, so don't worry. Glad you stopped by!

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  4. That Mad Men collection is so hot! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

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  5. love this entire collection!! and your blog!

    xoxo
    kat

    www.withlovefromkat.com

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  6. Hi Elizabeth! Banana Republic is probably my favorite store, yet I never knew its history! This was a great post. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today!

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  7. Adore this! Thanks for the sweet comment. So wonderful to come across yours as well...beautiful design. You write with such passion and authenticity! I'll be sticking around :)

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    1. Thank you so much- it's always nice to have some encouragement! I'm glad to hear it!

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  8. Cute blog!! Would you like to follow each other?

    Come on over to my blog, if you like it follow! I'd be happy to return the favor :)

    xxClassic Glam

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    1. Thanks! I'm heading over there now!

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  9. Absolutely love the Trina Turk collaboration with BR! So many gorgeous accessories, especially!

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    1. Yes, I agree. Trina Turk always has the best colorful prints.

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  10. Great post! I'm a big fan of the Trina Turk collaboration, and I think that Banana Republic's doing some neat stuff lately.

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    1. They really have been. I'm excited to see what else they come up with- more designer collaborations. And I wouldn't mind if they extended the Mad Men collection another season!

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  11. Love your blog and just started following!

    Check out mine:))
    thebellabordeax.blogspot.com

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!