Travel Diary: Scandinavia with Banana Republic Designer Marissa Webb
Since taking the reins as Creative Director of Banana Republic last year, Marissa Webb’s goal for the storied American clothing and accessories brand has been not only to elevate its overall design aesthetic, but also to gain international relevance and scale.
To realize these ambitions, Webb—along with Michael Anderson, B.R.’s Senior Vice President of Design, and a handful of the team's designers—spent a week in Stockholm, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, drawing inspiration for the Fall 2015 men’s and women’s collections.
“We fell in love with Scandinavia’s utilitarian style, graphic design, and unique architecture,” Webb said. “From the café and bicycle culture in Amsterdam to Stockholm’s fishing docks and colorful Swedish isles, our experiences during the trip gave us new perspective on life in Northern Europe.”
The infusion of Scandinavian flair into the brand has led to critical acclaim among fashion insiders, and as the collection prepares to hit stores, T+L gets an exclusive look at the group’s jam-packed itinerary:
Starting in Stockholm, Webb and her team set up camp in Norrmalstorg at the Nobis Hotel, from which they explored the neighborhood’s tan-and-peach cobblestone streets and brightly hued buildings (color palettes that were adopted into the collection). Next up: the city’s bustling fishing port, lined with vintage-style cargo and fishing ships (maritime influences also found their way into Fall ’15).
The group then headed to Amsterdam, where they stayed at the über-chic Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel, and were awed by the stylish pairing of masculine overcoats with soft, flowy dresses sported by local women. Afterward, a quick jaunt to Copenhagen, where playful public art installations like the city’s “Happy Wall” provided fun daily inspiration.
"This was taken during a stormy afternoon on the Strandvagen waterfront in Stockholm. I think I'm wearing 10 different layers to keep warm."
"The historic buildings on Stortorget Square in Gamla Stan, or the ‘Old Town’ Stockholm, are done in a really inspiring color palette and have such unique shapes."
"The winding passageways of Stockholm's Gamla Stan."
"Kerry Morgan, our Director of Men’s Knits, enjoying an espresso in a café in Stockholm."
"We had to stop into this gorgeous floral shop—though it seems like there's one on every corner in Amsterdam!"
"Beautifully quirky row houses that line the canals in Amsterdam."
"A handsome pup we spotted while shopping in the chic Jordaan district of Amsterdam. There’s always time for puppy snaps!"
"A whimsical play on traditional Dutch Delft art at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel, where we stayed."
"Love locks adorn the iron work along the Amsterdam canals."
"The 'Happy Wall' in Copenhagen, where you can turn over tiles to spell out different messages—obviously something we did!"
"A beautiful bouquet at one of Amsterdam's bustling flower markets."
"Michael Anderson, our Senior Vice President of Design, at the 'Happy Wall' in Copenhagen."
"Shopping for chocolate in Amsterdam. A perfect pairing with espresso!"
"Loved the richly saturated and unexpected shade of red on the shutters that adorn many brick houses in Amsterdam."
"The bustling streets of Amsterdam, always lined with cyclists."