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Thread: Has Banana Republic changed design direction?

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    Has Banana Republic changed design direction?

    I'm a tall guy (6'4) working in sales in a business casual plus type environment. I have depended on Banana for a long time, especially for sweaters and jackets since they have a solid collection of clothes in tall sizes.

    This season, they seem to have totally changed their style. They don't have many basics anymore. Almost every sweater has toggles, stripes, even asymmetric zippers or rope closures. It reminds me of what I would call more of a GStar, Euro casual club chill look to it? And not much "I work at an ad agency but I have to dress decently for work" type clothing. They seem to have dropped any sort of preppy lens.

    I guess most shoppers would abandon them for a while and go back when their stock changed. For me, there are very few mass market stores with tall sizes - so I can't just go to Club Monaco or Zara instead. Anyone else see this problem or am I missing something?

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    (I believe) they appointed a new creative director in April, and this fall is her first "campaign" (or line - I don't know what you call it). So yeah, lots of blacks and grays and extraneous buttons and zippers.

    As a side note - has a store that anyone likes ever gotten better in the time since you started shopping there? I would say it usually goes like this for me:

    1) Stumble upon a store that I like
    2) Buy some stuff for a year or two
    3) If the quality of the items stays intact, the prices skyrocket. If the prices stay intact, the quality nosedives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phatte View Post
    (I believe) they appointed a new creative director in April, and this fall is her first "campaign" (or line - I don't know what you call it). So yeah, lots of blacks and grays and extraneous buttons and zippers.

    As a side note - has a store that anyone likes ever gotten better in the time since you started shopping there? I would say it usually goes like this for me:

    1) Stumble upon a store that I like
    2) Buy some stuff for a year or two
    3) If the quality of the items stays intact, the prices skyrocket. If the prices stay intact, the quality nosedives.
    Interesting note on the new creative director. Thanks for telling me. I guess we can say this is a VERY creative director. Rope loops and specks in the fabric. Wahhh, I just want a plain old black zip cardigan to replace an old one that wore out.

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    Lots of posts about the new creative director: http://fashionista.com/2014/08/banana-republic-rebrand
    Wish I could ask her to make up some basics in addition to this runway stuff with all the zippers. When I find good basics that fit well, I need to learn to buy doubles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phatte View Post
    As a side note - has a store that anyone likes ever gotten better in the time since you started shopping there? I would say it usually goes like this for me:

    1) Stumble upon a store that I like
    2) Buy some stuff for a year or two
    3) If the quality of the items stays intact, the prices skyrocket. If the prices stay intact, the quality nosedives.
    This is how I see Bonobos lately. I have several pants, shorts, and two cotton jackets from them. The stitching is coming out on all of them in various places on any time from new to a couple years of wear. If I had paid current prices on any of this (didn't pay more than $35 for any one item) then I'd be pissed about the quality. No way I'll spend $100 for their cotton pants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    This is how I see Bonobos lately. I have several pants, shorts, and two cotton jackets from them. The stitching is coming out on all of them in various places on any time from new to a couple years of wear. If I had paid current prices on any of this (didn't pay more than $35 for any one item) then I'd be pissed about the quality. No way I'll spend $100 for their cotton pants.
    Precisely. Their prices have skyrocketed into what is now a "luxury" brand. I have a couple of pants I got from them on sale (~$35-$40 as well) but not at all worth the >$80 they are charging now. They also have a blazer now for $500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xucardsfan08 View Post
    Precisely. Their prices have skyrocketed into what is now a "luxury" brand. I have a couple of pants I got from them on sale (~$35-$40 as well) but not at all worth the >$80 they are charging now. They also have a blazer now for $500.
    To be fair, it isn't exactly difficult to get their clothes on sale. I have a bunch of items from them including pants, shirts, and even suits and I haven't bought any of it at full price.

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    I have a pair of thick grey winter dress pants I bought recently from BR at 40% off and I was impressed with the quality so far, after 3-4 wears. But I noticed a lot of pilling on a Banana Republic sweater I got as a part of the same order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xucardsfan08 View Post
    Precisely. Their prices have skyrocketed into what is now a "luxury" brand. I have a couple of pants I got from them on sale (~$35-$40 as well) but not at all worth the >$80 they are charging now. They also have a blazer now for $500.
    How about their suiting for $800 - $1000?

    Ridiculous. No clue who is buying that other than a very small set of diehards who are perhaps scared or intimidated by Suit Supply or just want something very, very conservative. But a bunch of their suiting is starting to look a lot like suit supply. No wonder they are struggling.
    "Waste no time arguing what a good man should be. Be one." – Marcus Aurelius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shomas View Post
    To be fair, it isn't exactly difficult to get their clothes on sale. I have a bunch of items from them including pants, shirts, and even suits and I haven't bought any of it at full price.
    Becoming hard to get BR stuff on sale though. I don't know about the quality differences with Bonobos, but it seems like most items are BR Picks and therefore excluded from sales at BR now a days. I'm interested in their cotton dress pants, but at $100 I'll pass, and they get excluded from the 40% off I'd need to buy them.

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