March 25: To some, it’s merely the 84th day of the year. To others like Katharine McPhee, Danica Patrick, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it’s quite special (their birthday). And to many, it’s an EPIC date marking – drum roll, please – the return of AMC’s cult hit, Mad Men. The countdown to the two-hour Season 5 premiere has already begun, initiated in part by one Simon Kneen.
The Banana Republic Creative Director has teamed up with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant to create another 60s-inspired capsule collection that will hit Banana Republic stores on March 1. I caught up with Kneen to find out just how much madness we can expect…
Julie Bensman: The first Mad Men capsule collection debuted in August 2011, what prompted you to want to do a second?
Simon Kneen: There was such an overwhelming response to the first collection that Janie Bryant and I knew we had to put our heads together for a new one this spring. We continually find fresh ways to re-imagine stylish workwear for the Banana Republic customer and spring delivers a whole new palette for us to play with. It gave us an excuse to draw from different scenes and wardrobe from the show as inspiration that resulted in a second capsule with a fresh, country club-inspired twist.
JB: What is it about this era that you think resonates with customers?
SK: The Mad Men style epitomizes beautiful, dressed up tailoring; something that Banana Republic takes pride in. The 60s era in America was extremely inspiring – perfectly fitted shift dresses and cropped capris in bold colors for women, and slim cut dress shirts and blazers for men allow consumers to feel perfectly put together in a classic way.
JB: What are some of your favorite pieces from the new collection?
SK: The women's cap-sleeve dress with reversible waist sash in lush cream and a cheery pink nip-waist is a favorite, as are the feminine lace shell blouses and floral cardigans. From the men's collection, my absolute favorite is the luxe, spring weight navy blazer, but I also love the bright polos and bold checked woven shirts.
Set your DVRs and increase your credit limits, people. Madness is about to ensue.