Banana Republic

Founded: 1978
Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Banana Republic was founded in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in Mill Valley, California as a quirky travel-themed clothing company selling vintage military surplus. With an initial $1,500 investment, the couple created an award-winning catalog and unique retail experience that celebrated adventure and exploration.

Originally focused on safari-style clothing, like the British Burma jacket that inspired its creation, Banana Republic was eventually acquired by Gap Inc. in 1983. It was then repositioned as an upscale casual clothing brand, phasing out the military surplus in favor of premium casual wear and accessories with a modern, sophisticated aesthetic.

Today, Banana Republic is a global apparel and accessories retailer with over 500 company-operated stores worldwide. While evolving into a contemporary fashion brand, it maintains a connection to its adventurous roots by focusing on high-quality natural fabrics, classic styles with a twist, and an aspirational brand persona.

Did you know? 
The original Banana Republic catalogs were illustrated by co-founder Patricia Ziegler and featured whimsical product reviews written by notable authors like Nora Ephron and Hunter S. Thompson.

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