Sr Director, Photo & Creative | BANANA REPUBLIC

Jen Matic currently directs Global Photography and Social Creative at Banana Republic.

Her industry experience as a consultant, agency creative and in-house director includes Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Elektra Records, Ann Taylor, Target, Iridesse, Urban Zen, Eddie Bauer and Airstream.  

She resides coastside with 1 husband, 1 seven-year-old, 1 silver labrador, 1 gecko, 1 turtle, 5 chickens and a handful of fish. (A pair of alpaca is still not out of the question.)


1. What was your very first job? 

I was saving up for a Cabbage Patch Kid, so I helped weed out the garden for $1/hour. I think I was 5 or 6. I was out there for a few weeks, if not a few months.


2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails. 

I work closely with our team to develop seasonal brand concepts and direct the photography that supports that. Additionally, I lead the creative for our social channels.


3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today? 

When Algebra introduced letters, I thought I was doomed  ---  and those long ligature-looking symbols that followed haunted me. I loved taking photos with my dad’s camera, staying up late working on art projects, and studying fashion magazine editorials. A few years out of college when talking about family and careers, my mother laughed and said she was finally understood why I had piles of magazine tears stuffed under my bed as a teen.


4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant? 

Life balance. Real, authentic experiences keep me grounded. My 7-year-old son, Skyler, teaches me the unexpected daily which allows me to look at things in a curious new light. I also have a love of chatting up strangers, especially NYC taxi drivers  --- which is always such a pleasure. I feel like they raised me in my 20’s with their knack of always revealing something very profound.


5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be? 

When social paid advertising was in its infancy, I worked on a campaign with @hotdudesreading. It was so off the cuff: our brand wanted a campaign that resonated with what was ‘happening’ on social. That night, I ran across an article of @hotdudesreading and thought it was hilarious. My social partner and I texted back and forth about it, and we decided it actually might be a really good idea (insert giggles here). We connected with the account, then called up all our ‘hot’ contacts (which at that point and budget turned out to be all the PAs and photo assistants we knew). I shortly flew out to NY and shot the whole campaign using my iPhone on the A/C train between Manhattan and Brooklyn. It was a blast and actually turned out a raging success as well!


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