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Banana Republic's Summer 2016 Collection Plays to Its Fan Base

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Banana Republic has been having a rough year. Sales have steadily declined for the brand; according to the company's latest financial report, Banana Republic's sales are down 12% compared to the same period last year. Gap CEO Art Peck bluntly called the brand's performance his biggest disappointment since taking over as the head of the company. Marissa Webb, the brand's creative director, stepped down from the position last month and there are no plans to replace her.

However, Webb hasn't completely left the brand. When Banana Republic previewed its Summer 2016 collection last Friday, a brand representative said that Marissa Webb still has a hand in operations (she completely styled the new collection) and she's still consulting part-time with the brand as an advisor.

From a design perspective, Banana's future looks optimistic. The brand walks a fine line in trying to sell workwear that isn't too trendy but isn't too boring, and many of the pieces show that careful consideration: a fringed cardigan, for example, or a flattering floral jumpsuit. But it remains to be seen whether shoppers will respond well to this direction, and it'll be awhile before the collection hits stores next year.