Banana Republic Ad Turns Heads For Reason That’s Hard To Spot

Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in March 2022.

In a heartwarming and inclusive move, Banana Republic has unveiled its latest baby collection, BR Baby, featuring a baby boy with Down syndrome. The clothing company and retailer is championing diversity and acceptance in its fashion line, emphasizing that everyone deserves to belong and be celebrated for who they are.

A spokesperson from Banana Republic expressed their commitment to inclusivity, stating, “The BR Baby collection recently launched by Banana Republic was designed with a promise to be more sustainable, more welcoming, and more inclusive. This simple idea – that we all deserve to belong, and on our terms – is core to who we are as a company and how we make decisions. We want to celebrate diversity in all forms, and in the casting for BR Baby, we saw a perfect moment to move this forward. We were overjoyed to offer this wonderful, affectionate individual their debut modeling opportunity.”

BR Baby draws inspiration from Banana Republic’s heritage of safari-inspired style. The collection embodies a whimsical and adventurous spirit, featuring playful animal prints, imaginative maps, and illustrated palm trees. The designs are committed to being gender-inclusive and are crafted from premium, durable fabrics, ensuring they stand the test of time. The 40-piece collection, available in sizes 0-24 months, includes sleepwear, bodysuits, accessories, knit tops, sets, and even mini-me pieces that allow parents and babies to coordinate their looks.

Banana Republic’s initiative has received applause from Changing the Face of Beauty, a non-profit organization dedicated to equal representation of individuals with disabilities in the media. The organization recognized the brand’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, stating on social media, “Way to go Banana Republic!!! You are #changingthefaceofbeauty.”

Katie Driscoll, the founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty, expressed her enthusiasm for brands like Banana Republic engaging with the disability community through their advertisements. She stressed the importance of recognizing and representing the disability community, as one in 5 families knows or loves someone with a disability, making it the world’s largest minority.

This positive and inclusive step by Banana Republic comes shortly after Victoria’s Secret made a landmark decision to feature its first model with Down syndrome. Sofía Jirau, a 24-year-old Puerto Rican model, celebrated the milestone on Valentine’s Day, sharing, “I am the first Victoria’s Secret model with Down syndrome.” Jirau was part of a campaign for the brand’s Love Cloud collection, highlighting the company’s commitment to inclusivity.

These initiatives by Banana Republic and Victoria’s Secret serve to raise awareness and promote acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome, who may face both physical and mental challenges due to an extra chromosome, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By celebrating diversity and showcasing models from different walks of life, these brands are paving the way for a more inclusive and compassionate fashion industry.

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