Last summer Banana Republic put out a casting call for Mad Men, the Emmy award-winning retro television series about a Madison Avenue advertising agency. Visitors to the retailer's stores signed up, and two winners received walk-on roles with the show for season 5.
This summer Banana Republic, the speciality retailer owned by Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS), is going to let everybody get involved with the show that wants to, in a manner of speaking. Banana Republic is launching a new fashion collection inspired by the popular Mad Men television series that includes men's and women's clothing sold in stores and online at bananarepublic.com in the likeness of those worn by characters on the show.
Set in the 1960s, Mad Men characters dress chic for the times, considering they were in the midst of the emerging advertising agency boom times in Manhattan. Banana Repubilc is launching the line with an accompanying advertising campaign. Both moves build upon last year's casting call, and the stores selling Barbie and Ken dolls dressed in outfits inspired by the Mad Men series. This year, customers will be able to buy clothing inspired by the series for themselves, including suits, hats, skirts, coats and dresses - an entire clothing assortment of 65 items.
Banana Republic is launching the line and advertising campaign despite contract negotiations which delayed the start of Mad Men season five, but the program is schedule to retire to air with new episodes early next year.