Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yasmin Warsame in Winter Banana Republic Ad Campaign

Beautiful Somalian model Yasmin Warsame is the sole brown face in the latest series of Banana Republic ads. In them she's paired with a white male model which marks the first time I can recall seeing an interracial romance themed ad from BR. It's kind of interesting to me that the last time Gap Inc. (owner of BR and Old Navy) did this kind of high profile ad it was also with an African female model (Nina Keita) paired with a white male model. I'll be honest, this kind of ad always gets my attention but I'm curious about what you think? Is it progress or more tokenism?


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I think she's gorgeous and he's handsome.

It's hard to create ads that cut through the clutter and this one does.

Project Christopher said...

I think you bring up an interesting question. Some big companies who boast that they're marketing to the Gay/Lesbian segment put out adds with 2 guys or 2 girls, yet you may never know there were supposed to be a couple as they're nowhere near each other or being affectionate. Ad makers say it's "implied"
In this BR ad there's no mistaking them as a couple. Is it tokenism? I would love to think that they were reviewing headshots and just saw that this guy and Yasmin looked good together (which they do).
I'm curious, which would be more favorable. single racial couples made up of blacks, whites, hispanics, etc. or mixing them where the message is 'people' not race? (hope that doesn't sound like to naive a question :) )

Anonymous said...

I love to see ads that feature interracial couples and I don't know why there aren't more of them. It could be my own bias as a bi-racial person but I don't see the problem. I would be offended by this ad if the male model was being affectionate with a white female model while Yasmin Warsame was just left to the side by herself like I see black models portrayed in countless other ads. I still love those Old Navy commercials because they always made the black model the star of the series. I hope this continues and other companies follow suit and that it doesn't just become a passing trend. There should just be more diversity period.

sdg1844 said...

Nice ad. Seems natural and relaxed. There's nothing contrived about it and I like that. I don't think it's tokenism and I don't know about "progress" either.

If stepping outside the usual suspects indicated "progress" then I guess BR is doin' a little something. When I see these pairing more consistently, I'll give them more props.

dalia said...

banana brings a black girl into the mix every few years. about two years ago, i clipped an image from their mini look book (because the sista had a bangin' afro). let's face it, only a certain body type can wear banana's clothes, anyway. most sistas are too curvy for BR. i'm a petite, pear shape, and i can't wear some of their stuff, 'cause i have too much business in the back.

most of their clothes are just straight up boring, anyway... sistas have a little too much flava for the republic! :)

Anonymous said...

I love Yasmin but these look ordinary. Nothing breathtaking or out of the box. But Yasmin is great regardless.

...and to the question, I feel like its tokenism not progress.

China Lee said...

this is just a great picture. i saw the big picture by the beverly center and i was so very excited. the whole interracial thing reminded me of myself. its a beautiful thing to see a mixer of couples. there should be more ads like this!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a bit of both tokenism and progress because BR is dipping their toe in the water in a very predictable way but Yasmin also has a major campaign to help market her for future campaigns.

It would be ideal if every bit of fashion capitalism was free of ideological taint ... maybe one day.