Banana Republic Catalog #25 Fall 1985

Banana Republic #25 Fall 1985

G’Day, mates, let’s get started on Catalog #25, Fall 1985’s “Notes from the Outback”….The cover artist is uncredited. Rob Stein is always a good guess, but this watercolor feels different to me. Hard to say. It’s a great piece and it almost looks like concept art for a store window display. Is there no location so remote you cannot get the Wall St. Journal delivered? Catch the signage: Who doesn’t want to spend time in Doonuffin?


Page 3: The Outback Bush Jacket was the Italian Canvas Bush Jacket up to Christmas 84. The Outback designation actually started in Spring 85 with much more “Outbacky” artwork than the Outback issue has.

Banana Republic #25, Fall 1985 Israeli Fatigue Shirt, Israeli Fatigue Pants, Franco Shirt, Franco Pants

Pages 22/23 Here’s some unusual surplus we haven’t seen before, authentic Israeli Fatigues along with some of the most memorable BR surplus gems, the Franco pants with the famous kick-in-the-ass target. A true story or Zieglerean hyperbole ala the famous Short-armed paratrooper tale?

Banana Republic #25, Fall 1985

Vacation Snapshots….The travel journals are primarily written by Mel and illustrated by Patricia, but occasionally the illustrations were done by staff as the founder’s responsibilities continued to grow.  This looks to me like a watercolor painted from a photograph of Patricia posing in front of Ayer’s rock (wearing the All-Night Jumpsuit). Below, 4 Pages later it’s Mel’s turn in front of the camera. On the opposite page Mr Brady’s Traveling bag remains an essential part of the catalog.

Banana Republic #25, Fall 1985


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.


  • Daniel on February 21, 2013

    I remember the first time I walked into a Banana Republic store. It was almost magical. There was a scent of cedar from the floor, green long, leafy plants, clothing that was handsome as well as sturdy, and it smelled like some old market bizarre. Up until then, I had ordered from the catalogs only, which were brilliantly created. It felt as if you were transported to another century. It was amazing. It was an experience. Thanksfor making this website. What a wonderful trip down memory lane.

  • Robert Stein III on April 20, 2015

    “The cover artist is uncredited. Rob Stein is always a good guess”
    Yes again.

  • Jamie Fellrath on July 28, 2020

    This is the first BR catalog I ever remember seeing… I am from a small town without a shopping mall of any kind within 45 miles, much less one with a vintage Banana Republic. I’m also a huge fan of the safari era and Indiana Jones and the like. We got this catalog by pure chance one year, and I was a fan from that point forth. Any time we made it to a major city, I was searching out the mall for a BR store – favorites included Boston and St. Louis. When they were made into the overpriced Gap, I was heartbroken. Thank you for keeping these wonder days of interesting retail alive!

    • Robyn Adams on July 28, 2020

      Thanks, Jamie!

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