Banana Republic Store Artifacts

Banana Republic Store Artifacts

Banana Republic stores were each lavishly decorated with authentic vintage items as well as custom made items that reflected colonial safari and travel themes. Each store famously had a surplus Army Willy Jeep in the window, and often large museum quality animals such as elephants. The shoplifting detectors were disguised in large tusks framing the doors and some stores had tusks for door handles. We’d like to share these items from our collection and encourage other collectors to submit their finds (or sell to us!) Collecting BR store items is a specialized and often expensive hobby. Items are rare and highly prized. Presumably, when stores were transitioned their displays were carted off by employees, perhaps sold at auction, possibly simply discarded, so they are out there somewhere waiting to surface. (WHERE are all the JEEPS?)

A dressing room stool, the sculpted elephant foot (likely created by a master diorama craftsman from San Francisco’s Academy of Science) is cast in fiberglass with a faux zebra skin padded seat.
This suitcase was part of a display at the Grant Avenue flagship store in San Francisco.
Props such as these old cameras were liberally scattered about the store displays. These were from San Francisco’s Grant St. Store.
One of my favorite small items, this bag check tag was from a New York store.

Signage was abundant and esoteric in the store, but examples of signage do not come up often, this photo was from an old eBay auction.
Previously posted, resin tusks used as door handles to a BR store, repurposed on my BR collection display cabinet.
Framed BR covers were used to decorate walls in the store and dressing rooms. These are verified examples in my collection. In some cases very rare and old duo-tone catalogs were used!

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.

1 Comment

  • Paul on November 6, 2019

    What an amazing collection! Thank you so much for this fantastic blog.

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