Banana Republic Travel and Safari Store Items

Store Items

Animals!

Banana Republic stores often had large fiberglass (or resin) animals on display. I have been told they were produced by artisans that usually worked for the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, although the quality is a little less realistic. Presumably there are examples of this scattered across the country as store fixtures were sold off […]

Original Artwork

I was given these two colored pencil illustrations from the catalogs drawn by artist Nick Backes that show the marvelous detail and large size (7″x10″ and 6″x14″). Thanks for the donation from Mike Madrid! These are both from the Summer 1985 catalogue. From Holiday 1985, these incredible colored pencil illustrations of the Kashmir Sweater by […]

Employee Name Badge-UPDATE!

Confirmed: This is an employee name badge! I was given this employee badge by Mike Madrid in BR’s design office. It’s a laminated badge with a clip on the back of it, he didn’t recall it’s origin. I found this article in the employee newsletter (below) about a January 1986 Manager’s Conference meeting (In the […]

Knock-Off “Employee” Shirt and Jacket

I found this shirt was found on eBay in February 2021, and the jacket was found several years earlier by Wendy Joffe, also on eBay. They have been identified as fakes by Patricia Ziegler and another BR executive, John Mavrakis. The same result as the Banana Pocket shirt I found. For what it’s worth, however, […]

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!! This festive cover of the Banana Republic employee newsletter Communiqué features a celebrating Livingstone Zebra in 1986, how cool is that? Thanks for following Abandoned Republic this year. Keeping up the blog has been a VERY welcome distraction from the tedium and misery of 2020, and engaging with other BR Fanatics makes […]

Merry Christmas

This is not an official BRT&SCo Holiday card, but it’s the next best thing. Our friend Gary Pinkerton shares with us this Christmas card from photographer Robert Castellano who took a lovely winter wonderland photo of the Banana Republic at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. The card is dated 1999 but it was […]

Employee New Hire Kit

I found these images on Worthpoint, which archives old eBay auctions. Here’s one I really wish I had known about! A new-employee orientation package along with the original advertisement for the open positions at the new La Jolla, CA store.

Banana Republic Store Photos

First, a small collection of photos of Banana Republic Travel & Safari stores I’ve purchased online from news archives.  This is not an official BRT&SCo Holiday card, but it’s the next best thing. Our friend Gary Pinkerton shares with us this Christmas card from photographer Robert Castellano who took a lovely winter wonderland photo of […]

Advertisements

Early on, advertising in magazines like the New Yorker played an important part in getting the word out about the company, and attracting catalogue subscribers. Usually, the artwork used was repurposed black and white drawings from the catalogues, but sometimes the art was unique. Banana Republic print ads are collectible, there are a great number […]

Transitional Pieces

This blog is dedicated to the travel and safari era of Banana Republic as defined by the 1978-1988 catalogues. However, the name Banana Republic Travel and Safari Company continued for some period of time after the Zieglers departed. The company moved in a more upscale direction with the branding, but attempted to retain some of […]

There was a FLAG!?

An official store flag???? According to the eBay archive website Worthpoint, this printed nylon flag sold in 2016. I would kill to have it, fair warning. I’ve never seen it before but it’s pretty clearly the real deal. I absolutely love it!! If you are the owner of such a flag, please get in touch.

A Letter about a Flight Jacket

I jumped at the chance to buy a 1986 Mel Ziegler letter on BR letterhead and I’m really glad I did. First, it’s just a great look at what a classy company they were and how Mel’s gift for language never fails to charm. It’s so warm and witty. Secondly, this particular letter points directly […]

Shopping bags and boxes

Collecting the shopping bags, boxes and other store ephemera is great fun. They put so much creativity into this branding, each one is keepsake in it’s own right.   

A Post about Posters

Sold in the 1984 catalogs, these posters showcasing catalogue covers are really wonderful collectibles that appear now and then on eBay. Advertised were catalogs 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21, but I also came across one from catalog #22, presumably sold in stores.   My copy of the African Safari poster was signed by Patrica […]

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 […]

Shopping Safari! “Banana Republic Guide” Employee Vests and Shirts

One of the more fun items to collection are store employee "guide" vests and shirts. These are either hooded bush vests or Expedition shirts with a silk-screened stars and bananas emblem labeled Banana Republic Guide. Probably one of the coolest and highest quality retail "uniforms" ever!      I first heard about these when I [...]

Door Handles That Never Forget

My favorite things to collect are actual pieces from Banana Republic stores. The most interesting piece I have literally opens the door to my collection. These tusk shaped door handles were taken from a BR store when they transitioned away from the safari theme. I attached them to an Ikea display cabinet that houses my catalogs, artwork […]

Meeting the Founders of Banana Republic

Mel and Patricia Ziegler did a Wild Company book signing at Book Passage in San Francisco’s Ferry Building last night and I was in attendance in full BR regalia along with my very supportive friend Julie who insisted I say hello before their talk. I must admit I was a little nervous to introduce myself. […]

Store info and other Republic Business

There’s lots of interesting bits in the catalog that show BR growing and changing along the way. Hiring notices, store location lists, statements of philosophy, etc. Rendered as always in their unmistakable style.