Fashion designer Charles Harbison is partnering Banana Republic to launch a limited-edition sustainable collection sponsored by Harlem's Fashion Row.
Last November, Charles Harbison won the HFR x Banana Republic design competition. While in college, Harbison worked for three years at the Banana Republic in a shopping mall in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Harbison x Banana Republic collection is made using organic materials, natural dyes, and limited water production. The tops are priced starting from $98.50 and coats from $548. The collection features colors like poppy reds, vivid pinks, champagne, neutrals, and sky blue.
Harbison said that he has always been working from the perspective centering on the narrative of the Black matriarch and the Black muses who were so important for him early in life, but it's always been done for the benefit of all their consumers, regardless of their identities. He also wants to emphasize the importance of sustainability, which he believes shouldn't be left out of any discussion these days.
Harbison claims that his L.A.-based firm is engaged with companies on the cutting edge of circularity and recycled and organic fabrics. He described the Banana Republic as a "well-oiled machine" that was already deeply involved in the environmental discussion.
His Banana Republic collection is inspired by the matriarchs in his life as well as the concept of the modern heirloom. The collection includes a safari suit, separates and suits that reflect gender from a more inclusive perspective, and casual cotton dresses with voluminous sleeves that pull from the desert and the West.
Ra’mon-Lawrence Radeke, senior director of women’s design at Banana Republic, said that they’re thrilled to join with Charles Harbison to produce an environmentally and culturally conscientious collection that is faithful to both brands' main pillars. Throughout the creative process, working with Charles has been a true pleasure and inspiration. They hope that this collaboration with Banana Republic, HFR, and Harbison will inspire other retailers to follow suit and cooperate with designers of color who have traditionally been underrepresented in the fashion industry.
Harbison was born in the foothills of North Carolina in the town of Lincolnton, and received his undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University before studying world textiles in Uzbekistan before enrolling at Parsons in New York. He went on to work as a textile designer and women's wear designer at Michael Kors Collection before launching Harbison Studios in 2013. The designer worked in New York for six seasons before taking a five-year vacation and returning this year.
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