Leigh Crymble
2 minute read
14 Aug 2014
1:00 pm

The Lo Down: From San Francisco to Johannesburg

Leigh Crymble

Last Thursday, trendy international brand Banana Republic opened its doors in Sandton City, Johannesburg with its second store in South Africa – brought to us by the Stuttafords Group.

Entrance of the new store. Picture: supplied by 4Elements-Media.

With entertainment provided by Indie band Bye Beneco, celebrity guests that attended the Gauteng launch included actors Anthony Oseyemi, Michaella Russell, and Amalia Uys; TV presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee, and SAMA winners LeAnne and Nakhane Toure – all dressed in Banana Republic and styled by fashion bloggers Thithi Nteta and Neil Doveton. Other high profile celebrity guests included Miss SA 2014 Rolene Strauss, former Miss SA Vanessa Carreira, and actress Jay Anstey.

Established in San Francisco in 1978 with a strong safari influence, Banana Republic has since strengthened its reach internationally with the aim to provide clothing that is both fashionable and professional.


A blazer on a weekend; sweat pants during the week

A combination of laid-back comfort and tailored sophistication, Banana Republic is well known for its men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, and accessories including handbags, scarves, and belts. The strength of the brand is how easily a few items can transform your wardobe: with non-iron shirts and versatile pants helping the young professional transition from the work day into their social life at night.

“There is no doubt that Banana Republic will prove hugely popular,” says Lorinda Voges, owner of 4Elements Media responsible for co-ordinating the launch event. “This brand is synonymous with sleek, office-friendly clothes that fit a consumer’s whole lifestyle – from the home to the office. We need more options like this in South Africa.”

Celebrity guests at the event. Picture: supplied by 4Elements Media.

Celebrity guests at the event. Picture: supplied by 4Elements Media.

A blend of authenticity and youth

In their latest online print ads, Banana Republic showcases the new season’s range using real-life couples in real-life situations. This decision was made to reflect the brand’s focus on living an authentic “360 lifestyle” – for both men and women to shift from work to play effortlessly and stylishly. According to Catherine Sadler, Banana Republic’s global chief marketing officer, the brand “looked to photograph the couples in a way that felt true, with pictures that have a greater sense of caught emotion, of caught moments.”

The brand will also be using social media platforms including Snapchat and Instagram to unveil new styles and brand trends so, with their biggest customer base being millennials entering the target age range of 25 to 44, this authentic and “effortlessly cool” approach to marketing the brand will likely pay off.

For more information about the launch of this exciting fashion brand, visit them on Facebook: BananaRepublicSouthAfrica.


WIN a R3000 Banana Republic voucher!

Together with Banana Republic, The Lo Down is offering one lucky online reader the chance to win an amazing R3000 shopping spree at either Banana Republic Sandton City or Banana Republic Cavendish Square. For more details on how to enter, visit


Leigh is a lifestlye and fashion blogger. For more information, visit her blog or follow her on twitter @Le1ghLo.