On love and chain stores
In retail, as in romance, you are in love until you are not. Often, it’s tough to get at what went wrong; whether they changed, or it was you, or if it was just time. What is there to do? You accept, and you move on. Such was the fate of my relationship with Banana Republic. The last good time I recall—and I’m not just saying this in order to extend my cute love metaphor—was practically Elysian. I’m guessing the year was 2003, because I was wearing a camisole, blazer, and jeans that day, and I was very big on that particular combo in 2003.* I was browsing the Banana at The Grove in LA, doing my homework for a meeting I had the next day at Gap/Banana/Old Navy HQ in San Francisco. The store itself was bright and brilliant with color; the merchandising was spot-on, and most everything on the racks felt not just wearable—which BR so often is—but on-trend and really genuinely cool, too. When I spoke with the company’s CEO the next day, in the type of meeting where one is expected to discuss one’s own brand for a while and then praise one’s host’s brand at great length, I got to mean every word I said. It was a rare treat.
And then: nothing. Until Saturday, when the siren song of this yellow beaded tee beckoned from the window of a Banana Republic near my home and I was drawn in to take a closer look. It’s part of a collaboration with Milly, and is somehow chicer and slouchier in real life than as shown here, and because it was just $45, I made it my own immediately.
I also quite like this tunic: the print is great, and the colors are just slightly unexpected. Also: those are rather excellent elephant shorts she is wearing on the bottom, but they are both itsy-short and sold out.
But this elephant print scarf isn’t.
*The fact that I remember what I was wearing but not the year is a whole other story. Another day.