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Amelia Earhart Jacket

The stunning illustrations in the Fall 1986 catalogue were done by staff artist Peggy MacGovern, the resident leather rendering expert working in burnished colored pencils. Amazing work!
The mouton-free 1987 version in dark brown.

This amazing jacket was made in two different styles. The Fall/Xmas 1986 version is brown with a button-on mouton collar attachment and striped lining (photos courtesy Tiff Wimberly). The following year they offered the jacket in dark brown without the attachment and with a quilted lining. The 1987 version is pictured below thanks to fellow collector Kimberlee English Anderson.

From the catalogue: “Shortly after learning to fly, Amelia Earhart decided she had to look the part of an aviatrix. “It was 1922,” she later wrote. “Somehow I’d contrived to save twenty dollars. With it I bought…an elegant leather coat. Patent leather! Shiny and lovely.” A little too shiny, she soon realized. Who would take her seriously in a coat that looked brand-new? “So I slept in it for three nights to give my coat a properly overturn appearance. When I decided not to go to bed in it any loner, I did give it a last going over-rubbing the sheen off here and there.” No such contortions are necessary to our own homage to “A.E.”: We’ve buffed the soft, supple lambskin to look and feel as though you’ve had it for years. For further authenticity: an action back and gusseted underarms to move freely in the cockpit or on the ground; a quilted lining to insulate at any altitude; waist and cuff tabs to cinch against drafts; six pockets for incidental gear. And we dded a bit of luxury Amelia did without: a button-on mouton collar. True, all this will set you back more than her twenty dollars. But you’ll sleep a lot more comfortably. “

The 1986 brown version with mouton collar. Courtesy Tiff Wimberly.

1987 Version photos courtesy Kimberlee English Anderson

1987 Dark Brown version courtesy Kimberlee English Anderson
Kimberlee in full BR regalia.

A Green leather version with a maroon lining has been found. Pictures courtesy Julie Higginbotham.

About The Author

Robyn Adams
Robyn's fascination with Banana Republic began in 1984 when her Alaskan adventurer father began buying the clothing and giving her the catalogs. She loved the clothes and as an artist she was drawn to the illustrations. She went on to study illustration at art college in BR's hometown of San Francisco and worked for years as a background artist for animation. She is now based in Oakland, CA as a graphic designer and illustrator with Secret Fan Base . She's been collecting and archiving at Abandoned Republic since 2011.

2 Comments

  • Kim on October 27, 2020

    Was doing a search on this jacket as I have one I got by mail order when they came out.

    The lining needs repair and the leather is still supple but could use some love.

    Do you have any leads for that kind of work?

    Cheers

    • Robyn Adams on October 27, 2020

      Nothing specific to offer, but take it to a leather shop in your area, a good cobbler maybe? So cool that you still have it after all these years!

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