Banana Republic History

I grabbed this from a Yahoo news story. Been looking for a while to find a picture of the old BR stores. Please share any photos you may have!

Piecing together the history of the Golden age of Banana Republic is a hit or miss proposition, but here’s what I’ve found so far. If you have any photos in your personal collection please share, it’s especially great to remember what the stores looked like.

Banana Republic Guide to Safari and Travel Clothes

This 1986 book from BR features a lot of photos of BR Stores as well as the Zieglers themselves.


Sarkki Business Card

Witness to BR History

Banana Republic Memories with Staff Artist Kevin Sarkki

Hired by Patricia Ziegler at a starting wage of $5 an hour, Kevin was witness to the explosive growth of a mom-and-pop operation that would soon have over a million catalog subscribers and stores across the country and world. Kevin’s remembrances include a detailed account of how the catalogs came together-with so much hand drawn illustration rendered in printing techniques that are practically forgotten today.


A Rare Look: Banana Republic Catalogs 1978-1983

Think you remember the Banana Republic catalog? Here’s how it looked in the earliest days before most of us had heard of them.

Banana Republic Memories from production Artist Mike Madrid

Mike was the production artist responsible for the layout and printing of nearly every BR Catalog from 1984-1988. He describes the process of creating and printing the catalog and shares behind the scenes memories of the rise and fall of the Ziegler era of Banana Republic.

The Zieglers At Home and at the Office, January 1985

A fantastic look at the founders of Banana Republic in their prime. Metropolitan Home Magazine.


The Press Room: News Articles About Banana Republic

Wikipedia’s Banana Republic entry:

Here’s a video clip from a Mel Zeigler speaking engagement in which he shares some great anecdotes from Banana Republic’s early days. Wish they’d have panned to the screen to show the photos!

Here’s a fantastic blog post that appeared the same week that I launched this site. Banana Republic Summer 1985

1987: Adventurous Shoppers Find Niche at Specialty Stores : The Experience Is Like an E-Ticket Ride at Disneyland

These two tell a story, eh? La Times, March 1988: BR Launches Travel Magazine One month later: LA Times, April 1988: BR Founder’s Resign

Mel and Patricia Ziegler
Life has been a grand safari for the founders of Banana Republic

Reveries Magazine

New York Times: AT HOME WITH/MEL AND PATRICIA ZIEGLER; About to Hatch Their Third Republic

And lastly, Oprah has this: Amazing but True

Regarding the rebranding of Banana Republic:


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This site is not affiliated with Banana Republic, GAP Inc. or the original founders of Banana Republic.
It is for educational purposes only.