Banana Republic vs Abercrombie&Fitch: Comparison

Anyone who cares enough about what they wear, finds themselves often confused about what brand to choose from now and then.

These questions can only be answered when your choices are compared side by side, and this article is here with answers for you.

The major difference between the two brands is that Abercrombie and Fitch is an American brand that focuses on casual wear with an emphasis on lifestyle incorporated in its design.

While a Banana Republic is an upscale clothing brand and accessories retailer also founded in the US.

As a brand, they have gone through various changes and have almost a hundred years between them.

Why this comparison

It’s important to know the values and ideals of the brand and organize which products and services we use.

In addition to helping us ensure we are working with the right brand of our choice, we rest assured of its authenticity and uniqueness.

Also, using this comparison you would be better informed about which product fits your lifestyle choices and events.

This event may include your daily activities or a trip out into the country. What is important is you have the right information to guide you through your choices.

History of Banana Republic

Banana Republic vs Abercrombie&Fitch

The Banana Republic was created by a couple of Mel and Patricia Ziegler in the year 1978 in Mill valley California with its headquarters in California, the company’s initial name was Banana Republic travel and safari clothing company.

At first, the company’s idea was to market pieces that paired well with safari-style and travel. Mel was a reporter and Patricia an illustrator.

The couple were popular for their catchy and comfortable fashion items that well suited their travel jobs, they were popular for their hand-drawn fashion pieces mixed with explorers’ stories printed together.

This made them create a fashion store in a safari-themed market location to sell their hand-picked travel and safari lifestyle fashion items that had explorer stories with them in the Mill of Northern California.

Mel and Patricia Ziegler remember their first-decade adventure, Wild Company, released in 2012 by Simon and Schuster.

In the year 1988 Mel and Patricia Ziegler sold their fashion company called Banana Republic to Gap Inc.

Mel and Patricia Ziegler lost their creative rights and control thereby rebranding it as Masstige. Masstige is an available mass luxury clothing retailer.

The hand-drawn pieces, articles on explorer stories, and eye-catching tourist-inspired items were scrapped out and replaced by luxurious items and not unique items that the brand was initially known for. They replaced high hand-picked quality materials for mass quality lower production.

Banana Republic had its first launch on the 20th of March 2008 after Gap acquired it, Gap launched Banana Republic’s first European flagship store which opened on Regent Street.

They had a unique range of fashion pieces for international destinations while having a platter of quality, style, and heritage.

They had women and men ready to wear collectibles and ensembles.

History of Abercombie & Fitch (A&F)

Banana Republic vs Abercrombie&Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is a casual lifestyle clothing brand that has its main focus on casual wear, the company also controls three other brands, Abercrombie kids, Gilly Hicks, and Hollister & Co.

As of February 2020, Abercrombie & Fitch operates about 854 stores across all brands.

In the year 1892, Abercrombie & Fitch was created by David.T Abercrombie. He was a costumer of Ezra Fitch; a rich lawyer and a real estate developer. Ezra Fitch was an influential outdoorsman who was a loyal customer of Abercrombie.

Ezra Fitch bought some shares of Abercrombie Company in 1900 and in 1904 the company was incorporated as Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

In 1907, Ezra Fitch bought Abercrombie’s own interest in the company from him as the soles proprietorship from 1907-1928.

By the year 1970, Abercrombie & Fitch suffered in their business as other brands came up in the industry providing what they offered for a lesser amount.

Abercrombie & Fitch filed for bankruptcy in 1976 closing their last store at 45th East street Madison Avenue in 1977.

Abercrombie & Fitch is used brand models to help advertising campaigns in their various stores.

In the year 1978, the defunct firms were bought and named Oshman’s sporting Goods by Jake Oshman who specialized in haunting wears and novelty goods.

In 1988 Oshman sold the company to a clothing chain operations based in Columbus, Ohio.

Let’s get to the comparison

Features Banana Republic Abercrombie  & Fitch
Fashion items Higher male to female target audience A wider range of audience from men, children, and women
Luxury A luxury brand Not a luxury brand
Brand popularity Wide operational stores More popular
Management Managed by Gap as a parent company. Management changed multiple times.
Culture Upscale lifestyle Inclusive culture amongst workers
Style Lifestyle and travel Casual outdoor apparels
Work environment Conducive workspaces Diverse employees

Fashion items

The Banana Republic brand has a higher male-to-female ratio of consumers. Its products and services cater to upscale earners with high incomes.

White-collar professional is also among its major customer base. Recently the company has branched out to include household items, personal care products, footwear, and housewares.

While Abercrombie & Fitch has a more even distribution among its users. It boasts of three distinct product segments which cover kids’ wear, and causal and sporting outdoor fits.


Banana Republic is a luxury brand or near-luxury brand. They are described as being fashion-forward, producing high-end and high-quality fabrics.

Although their pocket-friendly price tag may not portray them as a luxury brand and is the best choice for an elegant affordable brand.

Abercrombie & Fitch is not a luxury brand. What they offer is more of a lifestyle collection of clothes and casually themed merchandise that serves the American lifestyle.

Its products leaned more towards outdoor apparel, hunting gears, and fishing equipment for both professionals and newbies alike. Though they may be found to be expensive the company has suffered different prices fluctuation since its inception.

Brand popularity

Banana Republic brand is a luxurious clothing and accessory retailer founded in America and owned by popular Gap Inc. they operate over 700 stores worldwide serving quality products to its consumers.

They are not as popular as the Abercrombie & Fitch brands, but only a slight difference. In the US they operate over 500 stores. Abercrombie & Fitch has for over 130 years with over 800 stores worldwide.

They are a lifestyle retailer with years of experience under their belt. It’s more popular than the Banana Republic brand with three operational subsidiaries to sell offering various products.


Banana Republic brand is owned and, managed by Gap Inc. this purchase was made by Gap Inc. in 1983 to increase the reach of its merchandise and value.

Under this new leadership, its market value increased once the target audience was revised to include has then just its usual teen base.

Over time, more changes were made to its management to play right into the new shift in market and consumables.

Abercrombie & Fitch though founded by Ezra and David in 1892, the company has passed on to different parent companies.

Bankruptcy and identity crises have plagued the brand, leading to various changes in its goals to match consumer needs.


The culture at Banana Republic has been reviewed by employees as slightly above average on conducive workspace measurement.

Employees were proud of its high career opportunities, work-life balance, senior management, and practiced culture and value.

Most complaints arise from dissatisfaction with take-home benefits, equity, and stock options. Healthy work culture is needed to foster relationships between management and floor staff.

This directly affects overall performance in sales and services of products.

At Abercrombie & Fitch, the brand outs itself as a community of employees that is both welcoming, inclusive, and diverse.

One of its key mottos is individuality and uniqueness. Though different job roles call for different duties, respect is mutually shared regardless of hierarchy.

Workers are aided and encouraged to speak with one voice and the brand has shown its capacity to change over the years.


Since the launch of its stores across Europe, the Banana Republic brand has been offering casual clothing with a rich history and style, evoking the very essence of modern luxury.

Its design style includes luxurious fabrications at pocket-friendly prices. A major keynote is that they offer a high-value and articulated seasonal collections of accessories and clothing including shoes, handbags, personal care products, and jewelry.

Its collection is also separated into gender-specific stores offering classic styles for both genders. Banana Republic brand offers more than just clothing retail but also lifestyle vendor.

Abercrombie & Fitch has undergone many phases of styles. Recently they have turned to increasing company sales by investing in a marketing strategy targeting millennials.

This has seen a positive increase in growth. Old ways of advertisement have been abandoned to favor appeals among consumers.

Initially dedicated to the sales of outdoor wear and accessories, they expanded to include sporting items, and men’s and women’s clothing. Today its focus on style is all about the American lifestyle.

Work environment

Banana Republic brand encourages growth within its ranks. This is seen in the company’s investment in training staff and trusting them to lead by example.

The management staffs are professionals who are decent in performing their jobs. Many of its factories are subjugated under regular safety checks and practices by its staff.

At Abercrombie & Fitch, the environment is serene as both management and staff uphold a high decorum of professionalism always.

Members of staff are cared for and in turn, have a nice outgoing personality for its workers. The work schedule is also very flexible with increased diversity among teams.


Banana Republic designs are more causal in appearance with a focus on wearable clothing. Its design is different when compared to Abercrombie & Fitch.

The latter brand is known for other products outside clothing attire. These include sporting tools and even guns for hunting.

Product line

Banana Republic has six clothing lines under its umbrella which include: BR Monogram, Heritage, Sunday Sunday, BR sport, BR baby, and BR athletics.

Abercrombie and Fitch control three-division under its brand which include: Abercrombie Kids, Hollister Co., and Gilly Hicks.

These various divisions all have a target audience to which their goods and services is been focused on.


The banana republic brand is a high-end luxury brand. Though this may sound like it’s expensive, it is not.

This brand is well known for the affordability of its products. Abercrombie & Fitch is popular for having pricey tags.

Their accessories especially outdoor products are expensive and have led to multiple price reviews in years.

Final verdict

When Banana Republic launched, it pioneered a wardrobe suited for expeditions. This passion grew over the years as did management moving to Gap Inc.

Today, they boast worldwide recognition. One commitment of this brand Is to provide you with luxury items with a wide range of styles, sizes, and designs to choose from.

Their fabrics are durable and present a luxurious quality that prolongs years after purchase. Their style is also timeless, remaining relevant with changing trends.

Abercrombie & Fitch offers a more practical clothing design, as they are functional and well crafted.

The company has also faced various issues over the years and has shown remarkable adaptability traits. It achieved a thick skin and emerged stronger as a brand.

My final verdict on these two brands is a close one. I have to go with Banana Republic as the best choice of the two. This is because this brand is affordable for a luxurious designer in the clothing industry.


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