Photojournalist’s Vest

Posted by on January 24, 2013

The Photojournalist Vest was staple of Banana Republic until well-past the catalog era. What’s most surprising to me is that there were catalogs when it WASN’T included. (Spring-Fall 1986) It is ubiquitous on eBay to this day, as many were sold and they never wore out.

The first version of the vest was discontinued in 1984, it’s distinguished by the vertical stitching on the shoulders and has fewer pockets. They appear on eBay infrequently. Notice the size tag is attached to the right side of the crest tag in this early example.


Version 2 was only produced in 1985 and was usually called the “Outback” Photojournalist Vest as many BR items were given the “Outback” designation at that time. It is distinguished by strong horizontal stitching on the shoulders and had 15 pockets.


Version 3 was introduced in Holiday 1986. It is distinguished by the press credentials window pocket on the right breast as well as the split in the middle of the back and is lined with a heavy mesh. It has 22 pockets. Fittingly, the final catalog, Fall Update 88 shows the vest as SOLD OUT.



Other versions of the vest followed after the catalog era was over. This one from the early 90s seems like a blend of versions 2 and 3 and I’ve seen it with both the Travel and Safari Tag as well as the early 90s tag. It featured interesting diagrams of the vest pockets on the inside front of the vest.



The vest was duplicated (superficially, if not to the same standards) by modern BR in the 2000s. You’ll find it with a black label and note it has three key ring hooks. It was worn by John Locke on ABC’s LOST in the fantastic first season episode “Walkabout”.


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One Response to Photojournalist’s Vest

  1. Thomas Millard

    Wow, so many memories, I use to receive this catalog on a regular basis. I still have a PJ Vest, as well as an almost identical knockoff from camera bag maker, Domke. Too bad BR could not maintain that “safari/adventurer” vibe, it was one of the few clothing stores that I actually enjoyed visiting.

    Thanks for this blog.

    Best,

    Thomas

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