Banana Republic is a widely successful American clothing retailer. Currently known for upscale clothing with a funky twist, from sleek boots to boldly colored cashmere, the store was founded in 1978 as a safari-themed outlet. It became well known for its fun and cavalier catalogue that presented clothing items vis-a-vis lengthy "back stories."
In 1983, Banana Republic was taken over by Gap Inc., a retailer that has been around since 1969. The company phased out the safari-themed items and rebuilt the BR brand as a high volume luxury seller featuring classic pants, beautifully simple dresses, coats, blouses, and accessories from scarves to belts. Today, Gap Inc. runs almost 400 outlets of Banana Republic around the world, mostly in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In 2005, Banana Republic opened four outlets in Japan.Together with Old Navy, a value outlet, and The Gap, a mid-market retailer, Banana Republic completes Gap Inc.'s retail trifecta.