Banana Republic Looks to India for a Chic, More Relaxed Look
Banana Republic has always been a workwear powerhouse, delivering 9-to-5 staples for as long as we can remember. But for spring 2017, the brand has taken a different turn. Not only has it continued its buy-now-wear-now initiative from last season (the very buzzy concept, in which brands are letting customers buy merch immediately after its runway debut), but the retailer has tapped a new style ambassador, the one and only Olivia Palermo. Those shifts have also brought in new luxe textiles, and a spate of fresh relaxed silhouettes that feel like a departure from the brand's usual conservative, fitted separates.
"We're a lifestyle brand, and we're catering to our customers who are always on the go," says Michael Anderson, the brand's senior vice president of of design. "Our customers crave a versatility, and it doesn't mean work, it means easing it up a little bit, and being elevated, so you can wear a piece to the office and to hang out with your best friend."
The spring designs offer a relaxed, effortless attitude that can be attributed to an inspiration trip that two of the Banana Republic design teams took to India. "We manufacture in India, but we wanted a deeper relationship with the places we're manufacturing, understanding the culture," Anderson explains. "There's a focus on craftsmanship and detail."
The result? Funneling that attention into louche, pajama-inspired paisley-printed separates, laser-cut eyelet detailing, and asymmetrical shifts. Combine that with Palermo's style power, and Banana is operating on a whole new level. Not only did OP hand-pick 15 pieces for the curated buy-now-wear-now collection (available now at bananarepublic.com), but she modeled them at the presentation, expertly half-tucking a one-shoulder dress into a pair of one of BR's best-selling pants.
"She'll take some of our things and give it a slight little twist," Anderson admires. "She's amazing. She's the quintessential Banana Republic woman."
Scroll through to see more looks from the spring 2017 looks—some of which you can shop now.
Striped tie-waist pants, $98; bananarepublic.com
Maria asymmetrical striped top, $68; bananarepublic.com
One-shoulder asymmetrical dress, $148; bananarepublic.com