Thanks to Ken for reading my post about the old Banana Republic book and pointing out that there’s a new one due out this October that details the store’s history. The book is called Wild Company: The Untold Story of Banana Republic and is described thusly in its marketing blurb:
With $1,500 and no business experience, Mel and Patricia Ziegler turned a wild idea into a company that would become the international retail colossus Banana Republic. Re-imagining military surplus as safari and expedition wear, the former journalist and artist created a world that captured the zeitgeist for a generation and spoke to the creativity, adventure, and independence in everyone.
In a book that’s honest, funny, and charming, Mel and Patricia tell in alternating voices how they upended business conventions and survived on their wits and imagination. Many retail and fashion merchants still consider Banana Republic’s early heyday to be one of the most remarkable stories in fashion and business history. The couple detail how as “professional amateurs” they developed the wildly original merchandise and marketing innovations that broke all retail records and produced what has been acclaimed by industry professionals to be “the best catalogue of all time.”
A love story wrapped in a business adventure, Wild Company is a soulful, inspiring tale for readers determined to create their own destiny with a passion for life and work and fun.
Looks like a really good read. I’ll have to pick it up when it arrives.