Banana Republic was founded by Mel and Partricia Ziegler in the year 1978. The company started with the much acclaimed Safari Collection which was essentially vintage military surplus clothing presented in a new context. The collection was a huge hit and Banana Republic got instant fame. In 1983, it was taken over by Gap. Gap rebranded the old Banana Republic as a mainstream luxury fashion retailer. To maintain the uniqueness and individuality of the brand, Banana Republic occasionally buys and refurbishes historic buildings to create its retail stores.