In celebration of Banana Republic’s Holiday 2013 collection, released in stores last month, a private men’s styling event was held at the San Francisco flagship store on October 29th. Spearheaded by 20+ year Banana Republic veteran, Kaya Fortune, the evening featured a fashion show displaying the brand’s new Men’s collection, styled by three groups of the Bay Area’s most fashionably astute men’s stylists/bloggers.
Far Left: Kaya Fortune of Banana Republic and The Neo Dandy Arts Collective, along with the models and stylist/blogger Dario Smith of the Bellwether Project (second to right).
The dapper men of the Neo Dandy Arts Collective (NDAC), Effortless Gent and The Bellwether Project effortlessly styled each look in the show, highlighting the sleek and crisp aesthetic that Banana Republic has built its brand on, while also displaying their own style preferences. Fortune served as the “master of ceremonies” during the show, narrating each look presented, sharing styling advice from the three bloggers and calling out the key pieces for the guests of the night to note as essential additions to their Fall/Winter wardrobes.
A favorite item of the night included the perfect fitting coat. “Fall must-haves [include] a nice assortment of overcoats,” said Dario Smith of The Bellwether Project, “I think we’ve all grown fond of proper draping items and three quarter length jackets – with the proper cut and textures, of course!”
Kaya Fortune giving guests styling and tailoring advice as models walk down runway.
Each of the bloggers involved felt that being in the Bay Area infuses a bit of experimentation with fashion, which in turn sets trends to be discovered off the runways in New York. “The fun thing about menswear in SF is that it’s easy to try whatever strikes your fancy because our city fosters a very experimental culture,” said Barron Cuadro of the Effortless Gent. “The guys here are definitely more daring with their choices, so I imagine the way local trendsetters interpret trends is a bit different than how guys in other cities interpret them.”
The evening ended with time for show-goers to network, and was topped off with complimentary 25% off each guest’s purchase, including the brand new Holiday merchandise that made its debut to the general public that day.
The future of Bay Area men’s fashion seems awfully bright, considering that the men involved are not afraid of risks or the challenge of being fashion-forward in San Francisco. Alan Maramag of The Neo Dandy Arts Collective thinks that, “As much as I have loyalty to tailored clothing, I must say that I am excited about the public interest in avant-garde fashion. The fact that it is becoming more acceptable for men to experiment with proportion and silhouettes speaks volumes about how far the general public has come in terms of opening their minds to new ideas.”
To keep up with the stylistic adventures of each of these men, follow them on Instagram!
The Bellwether Project: @TheBellwetherProject
The Neo Dandy Arts Collective: @the_ndac
Effortless Gent: @effortlessgent (Facebook and Twitter only!)
Article and all photos courtesy of Alexa Palacios.