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For Foodies and Fashionistas
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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When culture is brought into conversation, food and fashion ultimately become topics of discussion. Food can identify social groups much like fashion can. Those who wear Prada and Gucci won't probably know the latest dive "Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives" visited. Also, those who love getting the taste of local food when traveling probably won't know when Dior's fall line is expected to hit the rack. 

Food and fashion make a good pairing.

Naturally, then, is the collaboration between Banana Republic, Bon Appétit, and Open Table. The three organizations are launching a food and fashion apparel collection called "Desk to Dinner." Banana Republic will tailor the collection, which is meant for those who want to wear clothing that can be worn from the office to the night out.

The campaign to promote Desk to Dinner is set to start early July and will feature print ads, email marketing, social media, and digital content. Open Table will sport information on its blog, "Dining Check," while Banana Republic will adorn creative in windows in its 450 stores and have events in major cities.

This isn't the first time Banana Republic has created a special line. During one of the earlier seasons of Mad Men, the retailer came out with a Mad Men collection and a sweepstakes to win a so-inspired collection. Bon Appétit, too, has dabbled in the fashion world. It sponsored a "Feast or Fashion" promotion during New York Fashion Week and is expected to be involved again in numerous fashion-related activities.

In the article, one of the brains behind the campaign said that "collaboration, in my mind, is the wave of the future." That's a slow wave, my friend. This kind of collaboration has always been around, though it's had a different name (cross-promotion, cross-channel promotion, etc.). Not to say it isn't effective; many cases have proved that it is. This kind of advertising gives all parties involved a chance to expose their brands to audiences they haven't been able to reach in the past. Partnering with brands that have similar audiences is definitely the way to go when your brand is looking to expand its footprint. 

We'll be interested to see how it goes. 

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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