Does anyone remember when Banana Republic stores used to be cool? I remember back in around 1987 there was one in Pasadena that had a parachute and half a Land Rover in the front window. (yeah, okay, so the Rover hooked me, what can I say?) My girlfriend would make a special trip to Pasadena just to go there! The stores looked cool, and they had cool clothes – at least they seemed like real travel adventure clothing (referred to somewhere as the “Hemingway look”). Lots of loose-fitting dirt-colored linen and cotton. But mainly they had an “image”, and probably an attitude as well, that made me pleased to shop there, even tho I don’t recall actually buying that much there.
Then it got bought by the Gap and perverted into another foo foo garbage mall store. I was shopping for shoes yesterday at the Carlsbad outlet mall (shudder, but not quite as bad as the actual mall mall) and I stopped in to see what BR was up to lately. I actually bought a shirt that might have even been sold in the old store if it was still around. But the atmosphere? It’s the Gap. Bleh! The same for most of the clothes there.
Take a look at their website. No personality whatsoever (no doubt, you might say, like the people who shop there)!
No one could accuse me of being a clothes horse, but I guess I still like to identify a little with the places I shop.
I did find some cool stuff at the Timberland store, actually – two pairs of shoes, shorts, socks – yeah, they got me. The place had personality.
“Dog’s got personality; personality goes a long way.” “Ahh, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?” “Well, we’d have to be talking one charming mother-fu**ing pig.” – Pulp Fiction
(Sorry, where was I?) They had cool rolling metal fixtures so that they could rearrange in minutes. Unlike the Rockport store, they actually had benches to sit on and try on shoes (duh!). And to top it all off, much of the stuff they had was cool looking, even if I didn’t actually want it – work boots, ripstop neon backpacks, canvas stuff. Their website has, at least a little, attitude – the homepage when I looked at it (I bet it’s set to change regularly) had an image of a sailboat and the slogan in uppercase casual, “BE THE ONE WHO STEERS THE COURSE” – a little snobbish, but hard-working snobbish. And they’ve got links to granola earthday environmental volunteer stuff (“Don’t Wear It, Use It.”) BR had “new looks we crave for summer…shop now” with a lipstick’d model.
“Throughout my life, I’ve dreamed of going to different places.