Summer 1985 Catalog #24 and Update

Banana Republic Catalog Summer Update 1985 Cover by Rob SteinThere were TWO updates to the Summer 1985 Wanderlust catalog. The first featured a really fantastic pencil sketch  cover from staff artist Rob Stein. Emulating a well worn sketchbook the drawing is very solid and well composed. The painted dragonfly that has landed on the book doesn’t catch your eye until  second glance. It’s really handsome.

Inside, the catalog is an exact reprint of the Wanderlust issue, nothing has been changed.


But then there is the second update, which is almost a completely new catalog. It’s unusual in the first place because it’s the only update that is numbered (24). The cover is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a terrifically detailed Rob Stein painting of  classic BR gear in a African forest scene with giraffes–but the parrot, iguana and hummingbirds are all from the Americas, hmmm…matched up with a BR Army Air Corps plane and all the favorites: Gurkha Shorts, a Pith Helmet, a Swedish Bandolier and an Old English shirt.

Banana Republic Catalog 24 Summer Update 1985 Cover by Rob Stein

This update is very different from Catalog 23. Most of the product is the same, but the layout is quite different. Clothes are moved to different combinations from page to page. This is not unusual, but this update does seem to stand out for the amount of new product that is included. I’ll highlight what is new.

Page 4 and 5 are all about Kikoi cloth. In the first Summer 85 catalog BR featured the Kikoi Scarf on page 46. Here we have a double page spread of shirts, tops and dresses in the colorful African fabric.

Banana Republic Summer 1985 Update #24 Kikoi Cloth

Page 6 and 7 bring 3 new items–The Long Sleeved Ventilated Shirt, Trekking Shorts, surplus French Commando Sweatshirts.

Banana Republic Summer 1985 Update #24 Ventilated Shirt, Trekking Shorts, French Commando Sweatshirt, French Army Bush Hat

This is the first time I’ve noticed this cartoon accompanying the Kenya Convertibles. Pretty great….

Banana Republic Summer 1985 Update #24 Naturalist's Shirt, Sportsman's Bag, Kenya Convertibles

Many of the pages contain the same products and layout, but the images behind the products have changed…but just barely. The background on the denim shirt in catalog 23? A landscape with a zebra. In 24? A different landscape with more zebras. Why bother? Has anyone noticed this but me? Does anyone care but me? How much do I really care. Frankly, the more zebras the better, that’s what I say.

Banana Republic Summer 1985 Update #24 Old English Engraving T-Shirts, Denim Shirt

One of the more interesting new items is this surplus Clod War T-Shirt from Denmark. Check out the story behind it’s green dot. Amazing times…

Banana Republic Summer 1985 Update #24 Portable Pockets Vest, Fatigue Pants, Cold Wat T-shirt, RAF Shorts


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

  • Mike Piaza on August 15, 2012

    Great site, I work for a company that makes catalogs. This site is a great source of inspiration!

Leave a Reply