We are always looking for new ways to illustrate holiday in a contemporary way. I had the idea of “future memories” staged like a play and set within a classic house. Each room would represent different holiday emotions such as anticipation, joy, romance, giving, wonder, etc. These separate scenes within different rooms of the house would be designed as “art installations,” bringing nature indoors and abstractly representing different holiday scenarios.
I’ve always been a huge fan of dance and movement going back to my music video days. I thought about using different disciplines of dance to show a diversity of personalities and the idea of movement as communication. I’ve always loved clashing musical ideas and culture in unconventional ways.
We reached out to some friends in the dance world to bring new energy to the campaign. We scoured other types of movers, landing on everyone from pop-lockers, to krumpers, contemporary, ballet, rhythmic gymnasts and even an ice skater. We worked with each individual to highlight their personal styles but also brought them together with other disciplines to highlight or contrast their own expertise. The ways these different ideas of movement come together create a stunning portrait.
I’d had a piece of music in my head for months. A re-imagining of Bach’s “Prelude and Fugue in C Major” recorded by the electronic band Safri Duo and The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, and composed by legendary modernist producer Per Nørgård. The version has a playfulness that feels as though it’s being played by a child.
The whole project feels like a magical journey through a holiday fantasy, from the snowy interior grand stairway to the surreal dinner scene and the living room walls bursting into applause.
Creative Director at Banana Republic
Meet the Cast
Jon (“Boogz” to friends): A choreographer, director and movement artist. His journey has led him from street performing to the Cirque du Soleil to independent director and choreographer. “The [holiday shoot] was magical. The rooms in the mansion came to life in a unique way. When I was dancing, I was thinking magical, unreal—something to ignite the audience’s imagination. The campaign was a culmination of a lot of different, magical elements.”
“The [holiday shoot] was magical. When I was dancing, I was thinking magical, unreal—something to ignite the audience’s imagination.”
Ron: Born and raised in Memphis and now an L.A. transplant, he is a professional dancer and rap artist. He’s one of the premier interpreters of “Memphis jookin’,” a dance style that originated in Memphis, Tennessee. In high school, Ron joined a dance crew and the rest is history. With roots in California (his dad’s home state), he moved to L.A. and has been there ever since.
“One of the things I liked about being a part of this campaign was the atmosphere of Christmas. Joy. Happiness. Coming together. Unity.”
Nardia: A professional ballerina and student, she dances with the Washington Ballet, where she constantly challenges what a “stereotypical ballerina” looks like. This holiday season, she will take the spotlight as “Sugarplum Fairy” in The Nutcracker. When not on stage, she hopes to celebrate by: “eating, drinking and finding balance with my loved ones.”
Greg: Barber and dancer from East L.A. He’s one of five siblings and his family is a driving force behind his artistic endeavors. During the holidays, his favorite tradition is: “To always spend time with my family. No matter what, we always come together for my mom’s cooking.” And his favorite gift to give? “One that a person can connect to and will cherish for a lifetime.”
Yiannis: A dancer, performer and choreographer, he grew up in Greece but now lives in New York. His favorite holiday tradition? “We place a special coin inside of the New Year’s (homemade) cake. Whoever gets the slice with the coin will have luck with [them] in the new year!”
Nico: A native of the midwest, he is now a Brooklyn-based dancer and model. On his experience shooting the campaign: “It was awesome to dance on the staircase, accompanied by Bach and two live violinists, while the snow was falling from the ceiling!” He gets into the holiday spirit every year with a tradition: “I watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in Herald Square. I go with friends and then we’ll celebrate with a big dinner that evening!”
Nataliya: Model, dancer and former rhythmic gymnastic Olympic team member, Nataliya is originally from Moscow, Russia. Her favorite part of the campaign was when “we all gathered at the table, throwing confetti, dancing and juggling clementines. The filming process was practically a little party of our own!” During the holidays, Nataliya celebrates with her family and loved ones: “We eat a lot and welcome the upcoming year. ‘You’re going to spend the year the way you greet it,’ we say, so we embrace with a festive mood!”
From spirited to serene, celebrate the season your way. Follow our holiday adventure on Instagram, then explore our newest collection (for her and for him) for something new each week. Show us your holiday spirit on social by tagging @bananarepublic and #ItsBanana (for the guys, @bananarepublicmens and #BRMens).