Carhartt WIP

In 1889 Hamilton Carhartt started producing work clothes for the Midwest workmen, who usually worked for iron and steel companies. He opened its business in Detroit, the ground zero for the American industrial revolution. A century later, Carhartt WIP - which stands for “Work In Progress” - is regarded as the founder of the workwear style as well as a grandmaster of streetwear. Following the quote “Honest value for an honest dollar”, Carhartt WIP managed to meet the needs of workersby crafting sweatshirts and labour jackets built upon visible features. Durability, toughness and convenience are key features of the first Carhartt WIP jackets ever produced, also boasting four central pockets as well as a corduroy collar, which is typical of the Chore Coat jacket. The high-quality Carhartt WIP denim served the US army to produce uniforms for the Second World War, when the Detroit-based label also introduced the Car-Lux - a state-of-the-art hoodie designed for leisure time. Car-Lux is a thermal sweatshirt born for workers necessities but quickly turned into a lifestyle staple thanks to a peerless versatility. Carhartt WIP patented breakthrough details that included metallic rivets, sturdy fabrics and innovative processes to develop flame-retardant, waterproof and anti-abrasion clothes. They were decked out in Carhartt Brown, a light-brown tone that’s still considered the hallmark for workwear clothing, applied over dungarees and vintage work jackets as well. Carhartt WIP definitely turned into a real lifestyle brand in the early Nineties, when hip hop culture helped the company to extend its audience and break into new markets. The now popular lifestyle series - basically the same Carhartt WIP as we know today - officially debuted just a few years later, legitimizing cargo pants and parka jackets for casual outfits. The cultural revolution promoted by Carhartt WIP affected art, music and graffiti - Carhartt WIP items started being spotted everywhere. Beanies such as the Acrylic Watch Hats were considered the go-to accessory for every outfit, while loose anorak jackets and oversized hoodies started being rocked on a daily basis by young guys and girls. Elsewhere, Carhartt WIP also connected Japanese high-end brands and young European labels through crossover collaborations, which pushed the boundaries of street culture and sparked the community to widen their horizons. Notable collabs include Stüssy, Parisian premium brand APC, Patta and Awake. Born in the toughest region of the United States, the Square Label effectively contributed to the rise and explosion of the streetwear phenomenon by crafting durable everyday staples, designed for ordinary people but quickly evolved into streetwear must-haves.

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