Banana Republic has commissioned four LGBTQ+ artists to create unique pieces incorporating vintage Banana Republic garments. The four artists—Serge Gay Jr., Andy Bellomo, Parisa Parnian, and Marcos Chin—use fashion as a form of expression, with style playing an important role in each artist’s life, both professionally and personally.
“Being able to share my queerness and my message through my work with a company that has a large platform is awesome. I wouldn’t be able to have that kind of a reach otherwise,” notes artist Marcos Chin, whose piece is on display at the Rockefeller Center Store in New York City.
Banana Republic partnered with the four artists with the aim to inspire other LGBTQ+ creatives, leveraging the brand’s platforms to amplify the artists’ work and stories. Embracing vibrant colors, bold patterns and statement illustrations are a recurring theme for each uniquely crafted piece telling a story of resilience and resourcefulness.
Andy Bellomo, whose artwork is on display in Chicago, says: “In Queer culture, style is a language we speak privately to one another that is personal and undeniably ours.”
For artist Serge Gay Jr., the collaboration with BR “represents unity and made me think about how we can bring two stories together into one. I’m such a storyteller, and when it comes to collaboration, I like to learn about who I’m working with and how I can incorporate my story in this journey together.”
“This flight suit, resurrected from the Banana Republic archives, is not only an exquisite canvas for me to play on as a visual artist and designer, but also the perfect piece of fashion history to bring my own story and journey full circle,” says LA-based artist Parisa Parnian.
In celebration of Pride month, these one-of-a-kind works of art are exhibited during the month of June in the windows of five key Banana Republic stores nationwide in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago.
To bring the project to life beyond the storefront, each store window display includes a QR code directing viewers to a post on Banana Republic’s online Journal, featuring conversations with each of the artists.