Banana Republic Catalog #31, Spring 1987: Rambles & Scrambles Around the English Lakes

This catalog was the first one I picked up when I started collecting Banana Republic stuff in 2011, and it’s the first one I scanned into the archive. Having just presented Spring ’85 and ’86, I thought I’d take another look at it before we move on to Spring ’88. (See where I’m going with this? I figure I can get through all 4 seasons of all four or five years of catalogs in 2012 and then this catalog archive will be complete. Scan, scan, scan….)

Anyway, I’m as much an anglophile as the next person…you can’t be a BR fan without having some appreciation for the British Empire. Still,  I find the cover to be a bit dreary with it’s grey greens and (I imagine) damp sheep… It’s beautifully done, of course, and it’s perfectly suited to the subject of the Ziegler’s latest trip: Walking through the misty English countryside. The cover detail of the note from PZ to MZ, “I’m going my way, see you at the top.” tells the story nicely.

The “Fellwalking Journal” is about the joys of wandering the Lake District landscape, alone or as a couple,”taking up the sport of poets” like Wordsworth or Coleridge. Fellwalking is an English term for climbing hills and peaks. You can join the online Fellwalking Club for more info.

Contrasted with a dangerous-sounding journey to the Amazon or Soviet Russia, this is a downright cozy journey and one for which 90% of the catalog’s contents are perfectly suited.  This catalog sits right in the heart of the catalog era and is filled with all of the greatest hits.

To me this seems very much like Mel’s catalog, it’s so focused on the writer and poet.  The journal sketches are very good, and I’ve been told that by this time staff artists were doing most of the sketches for the travel journal as Patricia Ziegler’s duties for the company were intruding on her time for that. I can’t say for sure, there are a few sketches that seem to be in her style, and some that are clearly not.



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.


  • William Douglas Graham on January 28, 2021

    Just wonderful trip down memory lane. I worked as a news photographer for decades and used their clothes all the time. Thanks for all this hard work.

    • Robyn Adams on January 29, 2021

      Thank you! Always happy to hear from pros who used the clothes and gear!

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