Marissa Webb Is the New Creative Director of Banana Republic

Meghan Blalock

Hot on the heels of the news that mega-retailer Banana Republic would be teaming up with high-end designer Roland Mouret on a special capsule collection, the brand has announced a brand-new creative director: former J.Crew designer Marissa Webb.

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Banana Republic made the announcement this morning over Twitter (see the announcement below) along with a photo of Webb touting an old-school polaroid camera. This is major news for a few reasons. It’s no secret that Banana Republic has been lagging behind competitors like J.Crew and Club Monaco in terms of aesthetic modernity—and this move means the brand would be, in some ways, poaching from one of their top competitors, since Webb ran J.Crew’s womenswear side for more than 10 years.

She is a prime choice to help guide the Banana name from a generally antiquated “work outfits” reputation to a much more modern vibe. According to a release from the brand, Webb will head up overall creative direction “as well as leading global product design for women’s, men’s, and accessories.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the extremely passionate, talented design and creative teams at Banana Republic,” Webb said in a statement from the brand. “The brand has such a beautiful history which I truly admire. This is an amazing opportunity for me to combine my unique vision with a brand that has such a strong legacy.  I’m excited to be joining Banana Republic and being able to make an impact for our modern customer.”

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Webb left J.Crew to launch her own eponymous label in Spring 2013, and Gap, Inc.—the parent company to Banana—has also announced that they will invest in Webb’s company as a minority investor. The collections Webb has presented as part of that line have generally stayed in line with the modern-preppy aesthetic she developed at J.Crew, with more of a downtown twist. We’re excited to see what she brings to Banana!