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Cardigan couture: From staples to styles

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The Wall Street Journal went behind the scenes with Banana Republic Creative Director Marissa Webb this week for the brand's New York Fashion Week debut.

Marissa walks through the process of styling for the big show and delves into what the state of work wear should look like today:

One of her favorite tactics is breaking up a suit. She says Banana Republic needs to offer suits, but she won't show a suit as one look on a mannequin or in an ad. Instead, she splits it into a blazer for one outfit and pants for another. “I'm utilizing what was already there, just putting it out differently," she said.

While the full line that debuted at New York Fashion Week doesn’t officially hit stores until fall, her influence is showing up now in styling and sales. As the article points out, sales for Banana Republic have held steady over the last fiscal year, with a 1 percent increase in same-store sales in the fiscal fourth quarter.

As she navigates her own label and her work with Banana Republic, Marissa brings her passion to both endeavors with equal gusto.

“It's a fine balance, especially for Banana Republic, to be aspirational but approachable," she said.

Check out the full article (subscription required) online now.