Banana Republic and Mad Men: A Match Made in Mod Heaven

Spring is almost here (we swear!), and this year the season of love and renewal marks the return of both Mad Men (for its sixth season) and Banana Republic‘s Mad Men-inspired clothing line (for its third).

AMC first partnered with parent company GAP for this cross-promotion in 2011 for a collection of contemporary clothing inspired by the Camelot era of the 1960’s. Fans of the AMC hit show could finally get their hands on tangible items to help them emulate Joan, Betty, Don, and Roger. The man in charge of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce could not have planned it better.

Consumer demand for the line has been strong, helping to boost Banana Republic’s North American same-store sales (which rose 5 percent in the three months ending April 28, 2012 with the new collection’s help, marking the brand’s biggest bounce in two years).

This year, fans will notice the show’s move toward the mod vibe of the late 60’s reflected in the clothing collection, designed collaboratively by Banana Republic and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant. No more pastels and country-club couture — the times, they are a’changin!

“With a new era of fashion inspiration, the design process was exciting for us and allowed for lots of creativity, which is completely visible in the end result”, said Simon Kneen, Banana Republic’s creative director and executive vice president. “We took Janie’s mod inspiration for the costumes on-screen and translated it in a way that today’s Don or Megan will aspire to wear.”

The Mad Men Spring 2013 collection will appear in Banana Republic stores and online March 1 (booze and lipstick-smeared collars not included). But if fans just can’t wait that long to discuss their excitement about plaid coats and graphic scarves, the marketing team behind the promotion has them covered; a press release on the subject encourages fans to “join the conversation on Twitter using #BRMadMen”. We guess social media is one advantage today’s marketers have over the Draper-era advertisers–but for those of us who want to step out of the 21st century and reconnect with our friends at SCDP, Mad Men premiers on AMC on April 7.

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