The Banana Republic Guide to Travel and Safari Clothing Book

This book was published by Ballantine Books in 1986 and it’s a must have for any vintage Banana Republic fan. It’s everything you love about the catalogs in long form. BR Greatest Hits Vol. 1…

The clothing illustrations are large and plentiful and the writing is more expansive. The sense of nostalgia and the culture of adventure is reinforced with photographs of historical figures, writers, stills from classic movies that we all pretended to be in when we shopped BR like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Casablanca. Ernest Hemingway is featured, naturally, as are Kate Hepburn and Marlene Deitrich. There are a number of wonderful full page and double page spread paintings by Banana Republic illustrators such as Rob Stein, Peter McGinn, and others.  The forward is wonderful. It describes the creation of the company and the Ziegler’s philosophy. It has several pictures of Mel and Patricia Ziegler in the field and best of all, it has several great shots of the interior of the Banana Republic Stores!

If you want to get the nostalgic hit of the Banana Republic catalogs nothing beats the real deal, but this book is a handsome and well designed trip through Banana Republic’s Golden Age. You can easily find used copies on eBay and Amazon and elsewhere.

I put together a video going through the book page by page so you can get a sense of what’s in it. There’s a few shots in the gallery of things that really caught my eye. Enjoy!


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.


  • Mela Nolan on February 21, 2018

    Hi there, were there ever any promotional posters for the vintage safari gear? Thanks in advance for any info! Mela

    • Robyn Adams on February 24, 2018

      Yes! BR published four 24×36 posters of catalogs featuring catalog covers 17-21 and they show up periodically. I have found a fifth one with catalog #22. Thanks for asking, I need to update my Post About Posters.

  • Full Metal Ox on June 13, 2018

    You name a couple of the illustrators; who was the cover artist?

    • Robyn Adams on June 25, 2018

      The cover of the actual book jacket is vintage wildlife illustration, the same used on their shopping bags and t-shirts.

Leave a Reply