Clogs And Khaki At Banana Republic
As the man who made Brooks Brothers cool again several years ago, Simon Kneen knows a thing or two about freshening up classic American brands. In his role as creative director for Banana Republic, he’s aiming to bridge the company’s original incarnation as a travel-themed retailer (remember when its stores used to feature Jeeps and tropical foliage alongside screen-printed tees?) with its current mix of sophisticated, well-priced sportswear.
“I wanted to stay true to our unique legacy,” Kneen explained backstage at last night’s Spring 2010 show. For the Gap-owned brand, an homage to khaki was in order. “When you think about it, there’s so many things a chino can be,” he said. True enough. There were safari-inspired shirtdresses and clean shifts in putty hues, along with twill trenches woven with metallic threads for a wrinkled effect. There were silk cargo shorts and a series of denim separates that felt both classic and of-the-moment—a combination that’s undeniably Banana’s sweet spot. And the footwear Kneen is endorsing for these looks? Clogs (or mules, depending on your interpretation). Meaning whether you shop boutiques or malls, it might be difficult to avoid the suddenly ubiquitous style come spring.