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When Food and Fashion Collide

Hot & Cool Food Trends

A classic food magazine and a clothing retailer with a food in its name have teamed up for an innovative summer promotion.

The magazine, Bon Appétit, and the retailer, Banana Republic, are collaborating—along with the online restaurant reservation service, Open Table—for a promo campaign called Desk to Dinner.

The campaign, which kicked off last week, will tout a line of Banana Republic clothes that are designed to be versatile enough to be worn at the office and on a dinner date. The Desk to Dinner line will be promoted in print ads, direct mail, e-mail, digital content and social media like Facebook, Twitter and an Open Table blog, Dining Check. You will also see the concept if you go window shopping at any of 450 Banana Republic stores in North America.

There will also be events in major cities such as Chicago, Houston and Miami, featuring chefs from local restaurants.

This is the first time Banana Republic has worked with a food publication, said Chris Nicklo, vice president for marketing at Banana Republic in San Francisco.

Food is “definitely one of the passions” of the brand’s customers, Nicklo told The New York Times. He said the campaign also enables Banana Republic to expand its clientele because “Bon Appétit and OpenTable have audiences that are outside my own.”

When you dine out, “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.”

The promotion is a comfortable fit for the magazine, which uses the tagline, “Where food and culture meet,” in the publication’s trade advertising.

As part of the collaboration, Bon Appétit editors will create content like restaurant reviews for a Desk to Dinner section of the Banana Republic Web site. There will be links in the reviews to the OpenTable Web site, so readers of the reviews can, if so inclined, book reservations.

The entire multi-level campaign is clearly targeted at “foodies,” so if you consider yourself one, you can expect to see at least some parts of the promo aimed right at you.

Check it out and see how well it pairs with your tastes in food and fashion.

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