America’s oldest outerwear brand has plenty of new stories to tell
Few understand the heritage-meets-contemporary design brief better than Woolrich. Established in 1830, the oldest outerwear brand in the United States has faced decades of shifting markets, trends and expectations. While introducing its finely crafted woollen products to a growing global customer base, it has retained its hard-won promise of ‘comfort, durability, resistance, warmth and simplicity’ through every trend, yet allowed itself the flexibility to change with the times. One such recent change is the decreasing stylistic gap between outerwear and urban wear, which continues to narrow season on season. It seems Woolrich knows this better than anyone: two new offerings from the brand’s S/S 2018 collection embody the trend for city-country crossover.
The W’s Printed Charlotte Bomber will keep you warm and stylish whether you’re hopping from cab to cab during Fashion Week or hiking in the country. It is only fitting that a product with such a varied history (from military origins to 1970s punk favourite to high-fashion classic) would be so versatile. Not only does it feature impeccable detail and feminine lines, but its water-repellent, memory-technical fabric keeps the bomber in shape, even after a long, wind-battered day out and about.
The Charlotte Bomber is also part of Woolrich’s range of reversible outerwear –flexible garments being another of the S/S 2018 season’s hottest trends, something that Woolrich puts down to ‘decreasing time and space’. Each reversible garment features different printed fabrics inside and out, and we particularly love the bomber’s sandy tones that evoke the New Mexican desert. Instead of buying a stack of coats, we’re increasingly looking for one, long-lasting option such as the ‘Charlotte’; a multifunctional wardrobe stalwart can become a lifelong favourite.
The W’s Printed Prescott Parka is a great example of this timeless design attitude. Based on Woolrich’s most iconic design, the ‘Arctic’ parka (which the brand invented in 1972 to protect Alaskan pipeline workers from sub-zero weather) boasts high-tech, water resistant ripstop reinforced woven fabric. A contemporary take on a classic, the ‘Prescott’ blends the smart functionality of the original parka with touches of modern femininity. A large hood, diagonal flap pockets, and covered button fastenings help to elevate it from rugged military wear to modern aesthetic success.
Despite highly successful recent forays into footwear and even sneakers, the coat remains Woolrich’s bread-and-butter – and for good reason. Both the Charlotte Bomber and Prescott Parka are instant classics, thanks to their firm roots in Woolrich’s vast and celebrated history. Yet they both embrace the contemporary, and changing, needs of a modern market. Playful without being disposable, these garments have 185 years of history looping through every stitch.