Banana Republic Designer Unveils New Direction

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Banana Republic’s new design and creative director Simon Kneen presents the spring/summer 2009 show tonight, his first full collection for the brand. The former Brooks Brothers executive says he’s been revamping silhouettes and introducing organic fabrics since he was hired in January, in an effort to revive Banana’s sales during the economic slump. The collection is inspired by painters: David Hockney’s serene California scenes, Wayne Thiebaud’s still lifes of candy and sweets, and Elizabeth Peyton’s vivid portraits. It will include a few surprises like a commercial version of the harem pant ubiquitous on high-fashion runways and new fabrics like paperweight leather and parachute silk. He'll also update the brand’s office staples, like a double-breasted trench dress and a versatile white blazer. Sounds like this change will be a good thing. [WWD]