Banana Republic is one of the most long-standing and highly regarded brands of clothing for millennials. However, despite the fact that the brand has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Banana Republic. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: It Wasn’t Started by Business People. In fact, Banana Republic was founded by a writer and an artist! Its two founders are Mel and Patricia Ziegler.
Number Fourteen: It All Started With Military Surplus. Today, the brand is synonymous with office-appropriate stylish wear, but it started out as a way to reinvent military surplus clothing. Mel and Patricia created the company as a way to recycle military surplus clothing in a new and exciting way.
Number Thirteen: Its Founders Were Once So Upset With Each Other That They Took Separate Planes Home. Mel and Patricia are not only the company’s founders – they’re a married couple! However, as you may have guessed, their relationship as business partners wasn’t always perfect. Once they became so angry at each other in the Houston airport that they took separate planes home.
Number Twelve: They Launched the Company With $1,500. The couple had pooled just $1,500 when they launched the company, and that was the total investment they used to launch it until it was acquired by Gap. They were able to do this because they could use their own artistic skills for free.
Number Eleven: And That $1,500 Went to Waste. The Zieglers ended up spending the only money they had on 500 shirts that had sleeves that were too short.
Number Ten: The Founders Invented Specialty Tea. The company was founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler (also mentioned above), and the two of them also founded The Republic of Tea. The Republic of Tea essentially spawned the explosion of interest in specialty teas.
Number Nine: The Original Business Model Was About Never Having to Work for Anyone Else. And in fact, their original business model was simply to make sure they didn’t have to work for anyone else. Stay tuned for part two of our list of 15 things you didn’t know about Banana Republic, coming soon!