Banana Republic has earned its rep as a purveyor of work wardrobe staples, delivering no-nonsense button-downs and neutral suit separates that play nice in the corporate environment. But for spring/summer 2016, creative director Marissa Webb introduced a new way of dressing for the office.
"It's about having fun and taking suiting out of that serious box," Webb tells InStyle. "(The collection) isn't completely different from the past because there's still the tailored element, but it's about styling and mixing and matching elements."
True to her word, there was not one black or navy suit in sight. Instead, power suits in siren-red and seersucker, bejweled tees layered over Oxford shirts and fun striped pants, easy shirtdresses, and sleek blazers casually draped over only one shoulder all made a point of being playful. It's a collection that even the color-phobes (guilty) can tap into.
"The collection is a spin-off of the heritage of Banana Republic," Webb explains. "It's making it relevant and modern, taking hints from travel—Morocco and Marrakesh—with colors, patterns and textures."
Despite global influences, it's important to note that the collection hits very much close to its New York City home. It's the result of a partnership with Timo Weiland and the CFDA, an ongoing program that supports emerging American designers and American manufacturing. Everything in the Banana Republic collection was created, from start to finish, in NYC.
"It's an exciting partnership," she says. "We wanted to focus on young talent in New York—the next one will be in California—and on mentorship. It was a fun collaboration."