According to a series of national studies compiled by Banana Republic, 43 per cent of US females (45 million) fit today's definition of the petite woman - 5'4" and under (source: US Department of Health & Human Services, Study 1988-1994). However, the actual number of petite women could potentially be much greater than this number, as many women over 5'4'' may also be considered petite, though they do not realize it. In response to these and other findings, Banana Republic introduced its Petites collection as an online exclusive beginning August 13, 2001