Banana Republic features baby with Down syndrome in new collection
SAN FRANCISCO - Banana Republic is championing inclusivity, featuring a baby boy with Down syndrome in its newly launched baby collection.
"The BR Baby collection recently launched by Banana Republic was designed with a promise to be more sustainable, more welcoming, and more inclusive. This simple idea – that we all deserve to belong, and on our own terms – is core to who we are as a company and how we make decisions," a spokesperson with the clothing company and retailer confirmed to FOX Television Stations Group. "We want to celebrate diversity in all forms and in the casting for BR Baby we saw a perfect moment to move this forward. We were thrilled to give this beautiful, loving human his first modeling job."
According to the company, Banana Republic Baby (BR Baby) draws upon the brand’s legacy of safari-inspired style.
"BR Baby evokes a whimsical and adventurous spirit, with pieces featuring playful animal prints, fantastical maps, and illustrated palm trees, among other thoughtful details. Committed to being more gender-inclusive, these designs are crafted from premium fabrics and textiles made to last for the journey ahead," Banana Republic wrote in a press release.
(Credit: Banana Republic)
The 40-piece collection, which is available in sizes 0-24 months, includes an assortment of sleep, bodysuits, accessories, knit tops, sets, with several styles taking their cues from iconic adult pieces, featuring elements such as oversized pockets and buttons, as well as a bodysuit inspired by a women’s best-selling tank.
A limited number of "mini-me" pieces — matching looks for babies and adults — are available in addition to non-apparel items including blankets.
The organization, Changing the Face of Beauty, which is committed to equal representation of people with disabilities in the media, acknowledged Banana Republic’s decision on social media.
"Way to go Banana Republic!!! You are #changingthefaceofbeauty," the non-profit organization wrote.
"We are thrilled to see brands speaking to the disability community through their ad images," Katie Driscoll, the founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty told FOX. "So often our community is overlooked when diversity is being considered, fact is the disability community is the largest minority in the world and one in 5 families know or love someone with a disability. Being seen in the world we live in is vital to our future."
This news comes less than one month after Victoria’s Secret’s decision to feature its first model with Down syndrome.
Sofía Jirau, a 24-year-old Puerto Rican model, announced the milestone on Valentine’s Day.
"One day I dreamed of it, I worked on it and today it is a dream come true," Jirau shared on social media. "I can finally tell you my big secret... I am the first Victorias’ Secret model with Down syndrome!"
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Jirau was one of 18 women hired for the lingerie and comfort-wear company’s launch of its brand new Love Cloud collection.
She continued, "Thanks to all of you for always supporting me in my projects. Thanks to @victoriassecret for seeing me as a #NoLimits model and making me part of the Love Cloud Collection inclusion campaign. This is just the beginning, now it's formed!"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.