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July 10, 2012  | by: Latonya Darrisaw

"Desk to Dinner" campaign

Usually when we think of food, fashion isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But thanks to a recent partnership and summer campaign among Bon Appétit magazine, Banana Republic and OpenTable, you can now fuse the two and learn not only what to wear to dinner but also what to eat. Launched on Monday on the popular retailer’s site, the “Desk to Dinner” collection will feature clothes “versatile enough to be worn from a day at the office to a night out to eat.”

For most 9 to 5 fashionistas who have dinner meetings at night, many don’t have time to drive home and change into “after five attire.” The “Desk to Dinner” campaign seeks to resolve that issue through print ads, direct mail, e-mail, digital content, social media and an Open Table blog called Dining Check. Of course, the clothing will be shown off at the Banana Republic stores. Online interactive elements such as restaurant reviews, food and restaurant trends and a reservation system have been created by editors at Bon Appétit and will be displayed on both Banana Republic and OpenTable’s websites.

 

So, for all you foodies and style mavens, we know you’re anxious to see the clothes. Well, Banana Republic already has the day-to-evening ensembles for your viewing, which include looks for both men and women. Everything from brightly colored sweaters, pencil skirts, blouses and dresses to blazers, simple sheaths, graphic prints and cropped trousers are available right now to purchase online and in select stores.

But you can start right now with some staple pieces that you already have in your closet. Perhaps the easiest way to approach the transition is by layering for the office. For example, a blazer or cardigan thrown over a blouse or dress could easily be removed for a night out on the town while swapping out flats or low-heeled pumps for edgier footwear.

Bright day-to-night offerings (Photo courtesy of Banana Republic)

And this isn’t the first time food and fashion collided for marketing campaigns. Bon Appétit produced a series of events for New York Fashion Week in September entitled “Feast or Fashion” where designers attended events at restaurants. Who can forget Incanto chef Chris Cosentino’s chef-optimized pants for BetaBrand that included a napkin and an adjustable size waistband for the times when we have one too many helpings? Korean-American chef David Chang also partnered with Vogue for a fashion editorial back in 2010.

Despite the fact the joint venture isn’t exactly groundbreaking, it is a progressive step forward in a direction to where designers may create functional fashion for dining to avoid pesky stains or fashion editors could dish advice on appropriate attire for fancy restaurants versus local food chains. The possibilities are also endless for designers and restaurateurs. I would love to see Diane von Furstenberg’s knack for prints and patterns on tablecloths and napkin designs!

Cropped trousers easily transition from the office to dinner (Photo courtesy of Banana Republic)

As reported by The New York Times, representatives from OpenTable and Bon Appétit each weighed in on the importance of the collaboration.

“What you’re wearing is part of the experience, and what you’re eating is part of the experience,” said Pamela Drucker Mann, vice president and publisher at Bon Appétit. “The culture of food, of going out, is a huge part of the work experience.”

“This is new for us, working with retailers,” said Scott Jampol, vice president for consumer marketing at OpenTable in San Francisco. “When you’re buying a new outfit, it’s logical to think about where you will be seen in that outfit.”

 

What do you think of this new, tasty campaign? How do you transition your wardrobe from the office to a night out on the town?

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