Men’s clothing brand, Carhartt WIP (as it’s called today) is an all American, working class brand that has its roots in heavy industry and blue collar work but Carhartt has also managed to penetrate into streetwear like no other brand like it. In the US Carhartt is seen as a hard-wearing, men’s clothing brand but in the UK, Asia and Australia, the iconic brand takes on a whole different image of street style and urban fashion.
Carhartt first started in the US where an entrepreneur called Hamilton Carhartt decided to start making workman’s overalls in the 1880s. Over the next hundred years, his brand became synonymous with quality work clothing but in the late 1980s, there was a kind of split due to hip-hop culture and criminals. It’s hard to say which happened first but criminals started wearing Carhartt Chore coats at the same time as rappers and from there, the brand massively increased in popularity.
Soon after their increased popularity, Carhartt WIP struck a deal in Europe that allowed the brand to be produced outside the States. This was named “Work in Progress” and was based on the original style but with alterations that appealed to a completely different audience, setting a completely different style of Carhartt’s men’s clothing.