Banana Republic’s “Startup Guy” Has Half-Tucked In Shirt, Cool Belt, No Female Counterpart

You know who dresses like this guy in a Banana Republic promo? Bradley Cooper, Jude Law and possibly Robert Pattinson, when he’s not busy being a sparkly vampire ingenue. Men accustomed to a certain amount of leisure, the sort who may encounter perfectly fine beach sand at any moment, thus requiring them to unshod their feet so they walk toward the frothy, cool water lapping at the shore near their villas. No socks required in that lifestyle! You know who probably doesn’t so much dress like this? Startup guys, despite Banana Republic’s attempt to convince us otherwise.

In a promo sent around this weekend with a quiz for customers that results in certain “looks” — with different questions and results for men and women — shoppers met “Start-up Guy,” a collection of outfits made up of BR clothing that’s apparently supposed to convey all the style of Silicon Valley.

But as Valleywag points out, that’s not the look any start-up guy worth his coding salt is wearing around town. Take a crisp buttondown neatly half-tucked into rolled up khakis and a corded leather belt and replace it with “t-shirts with startup logos, giant shorts, purple-on-brown New Balances, ballooning blazers, and bootcut jeans,” writes VW’s Sam Biddle.

The look for Startup Guy doesn’t appear to be available on the link to the BR quiz online as of this writing — but whether that’s because it was taken down or changed, or he was never a possible result because he’s just a guy who lives in email promos, it’s unclear. There’s Fashion-Forward Guy, Sporty Guy and Minimalist Guy, but no Startup Guy awaiting the flood.

VentureBeat says this is the entire line of Startup Guy stuff, though, so at least he’s out there. With those rumpled pants, drinking Negronis with George Clooney on a boat.

And is there a Startup Gal? Is she off somewhere, rolling up her pants to match her Startup Guy, making sure she puts on just the right amount of leather bracelets to compliment her carefully chosen watch? We don’t know — but we’d assume someone on the Internet would be trumpeting knowledge of her existence from the virtual rooftops if she does exist. We’ve got Minimalist, Trendsetting and Classic — without any Gal next to their designations, which is nice.

It also bears pointing out that while Minimalist Guy gets to “gravitate towards the classics” and likes “to keep it simple,” the female version with that same style gets “everybody up, showered and fed; you multitask at the office like it’s your job (and it is).” Because that’s not patronizing.

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  1. mrkake says:

    I’m so close to just never reading this site again because of continued posts like this…. who cares? This doesn’t have to do with the consumerist. At all. And even so, is it even offensive? It is so subjective to consider this offensive it’s not even funny. It’s called advertisement…. they aren’t trying to make some generalized statement about every man or woman in the world – they are trying to sell clothes, and in the hopes that the people out there (who do exist) that feel like the statement applies to them will buy something. That’s part of making an ad. You risk that some people won’t feel anything from it and won’t buy anything. And apparently these days you risk that some P.C. advocates will try to twist your ad to mean something it doesn’t and find a way to be offended by it.

    It’s not really any different than saying “You love horror movies. You need to buy Paranormal Activity 99 on bluray”. That’s so offensive !! I hate horror movies !!! Except that is has to do with gender? I don’t understand… gender for most people is a defining trait, should targeting advertising just end altogether? Maybe people that get offended should just stop shopping and looking at ads because I don’t want to live in a police state where everything has to be entirely P.C. all the time… And by what standard??? Because this example in particular is stretching the limits.

    • petepuma03 says:

      Exactly. I read this article and thought “where is the issue?”.

    • MarthaGaill says:

      Yep. I’ve never really seen what a “startup chick” looks like. I really think we’d just wear whatever we want. However, as a developer, I see most of the guys in the industry dressed like “startup guy.” I’m in no way offended. They’re targeting a demographic. That demographic is not me. I don’t buy men’s clothing. I don’t care one way or the other.