US fashion retailer Banana Republic has followed its sister company Gap by putting a significant focus on social media to showcase its new range of clothing.

For the first time, the San Francisco-based retailer offered fans of the brand a glimpse of its autumn line via social media picture sharing service Snapchat, giving customers a behind-the-scenes look at the new range with creative director and executive vice president of design, Marissa Webb.

Use of Snapchat by Banana Republic was part of a wider move by the retailer to generate a social media buzz around its latest fashion items. This was supported with organic posts on Webb's personal channels, and later in August, the company will be looking to further broadcast its message when it becomes one of a select group of brands partnering with Instagram for paid advertising.

Webb joined the business in April and is the driving force behind the latest fashion range which is being pushed through the company's 'The New Look of Banana Republic' marketing campaign.

Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer at Banana Republic, said: "The 'New Look of Banana Republic' reflects our charge towards authenticity in storytelling, where fashion is front and centre.

"Fall [autumn] is a continuation of the marketing platform we first introduced this spring, and now we're excited to share the next chapter. This fall campaign reflects a strong stylish step forward in our evolution."

Sister company Gap has put particular emphasis on social channels during seasonal range launches over the last 12 months.

As a way of engaging with customers last summer, the retailer used Twitter to reveal the brand ambassadors who would be starring in its latest advertising campaign. People were encouraged to retweet a link to the ad in order to get a sneak preview of the campaign on Twitter prior to its airing on national TV.

Gap Inc, which includes the Gap, Banana Republic and the Old Navy brands, reported last week that its like-for-like sales in July were up 2%, compared to the same month in 2013. Banana Republic sales were up 6% year on year.