Banana Republic is an upscale clothing and accessories retailer owned by the American multinational corporation Gap Inc. It was founded in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler, who originally called the company "Banana Republic Travel & Safari Clothing Company". The original concept for the company was to sell items that complement a safari and travel lifestyle. The couple worked for the San Francisco Chronicle, Mel being a reporter and Patricia being an illustrator. They lived in an apartment on Russian Hill.