Founded in 1889, Carhartt is the U.S. based original workwear company known for its durability and new classic streetwear aesthetic. Founded by Hamilton Carhartt, the brand still operates as a family-owned company to this day, still headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan where Hamilton made his first garments for local labour workers. Carhartt has transformed from an exclusive workwear company to a contemporary streetwear label with enviable collaborations with some of the biggest labels in fashion. Each season Carhartt crafts durable designs for men with a distinct utilitarian aesthetic, heavy fabrics, and neutral colourways in a mix of designs from t-shirts to structured chalk jackets, duck down puffer jackets, anoraks, straight leg pants, jeans, and accessories.
With over a century of experience, Carhartt is the quiet favourite among workers and streetwear fans alike. The brand started with just two sewing machines and five workers crafting garments from heavy canvas and double layered cotton. The original designs were purely about functionality with jackets, coats, overalls, vests, fire resistant clothing and hunting garments. The very first company slogan was ‘Honest value for an honest dollar’, highlighting their hard working blue collar roots. In the 1890s the company focused their initial expansion on railroad workers’ need for durable and long-lasting clothing. Carhartt worked side by side with railroad workers in a collaborative way which meant each design decision was influenced by serving a functional purpose. Within 20 years of the brand’s inception, the Carhartt company expanded its factories into eight other cities, including cities in Canada and the United Kingdom, and after a brief drop in sales during the Great Depression, the brand boomed again in World War II creating heavy workwear for labourers across the world.
Over the decades Carhartt has remained true to its workwear origins and they’ve proven to be a go-to for everyday casual staples. Carhartt has innovated with the utilisation of trademark features intended to extend durability and quality. Classic markers of Carhartt design includes the use of heavy-duty thread, the reinforcement of rivets at stress points, stiff cotton canvas, stitched seams and a variety of durable, high technology materials resistant to flame, abrasion, and water. With a lasting legacy on construction sites, farms, mines, in mechanic shops and factories, Carhartt is a well loved and respected brand for workers and outdoorsmen. Having successfully made a name in functional workwear, Carhartt has expanded its appeal to general streetwear and casual fashion, loved for its collection of heavy duty men’s clothing and unisex designs.
An instantly recognisable Carhartt favourite, the chore jacket makes a regular appearance in a selection of neutral shades each season. Constructed from heavy 12 ounce cotton canvas with triple stitched seams and a straight fit, Carhartt chore jackets are a boxy style with a pointed collar, neutral panelled colourways, a straight back yoke and zippered front closure. Carhartt jackets are consciously crafted in plain and muted colours such as mustard, khaki and navy blue, and they are usually waist-length or three-quarter length. Carhartt’s chore jackets are a men’s casualwear staple that’s permeated through to luxury fashion labels and menswear designers. Another seasonal staple is Carhartt’s heavy duty pants and overalls, manufactured in matching shades and fabrics to match the chore jackets, often with a straight cut leg and classic five pocket design. After over 100 years crafting men’s workwear-inspired designs, Carhartt launched its first women’s line in 2007 with a range of styles created with the same functional roots.
In 1989, Edwin and Salomée Faeh, a pair of German designers with a specialisation in denim, discovered Carhartt and began representing the brand in Europe leading to a huge expansion into an internationally coveted company. Edwin and Salomée Faeh started by selling Carhartt’s authentic workwear across Europe, and in 1994 they were granted the licence to start creating their own line of clothing design under the name Carhartt Work in Progress (WIP), a label that has since garnered the attention of streetwear labels and luxury designers worldwide. Carhartt WIP is the streetwear diffusion line of the overarching Carhartt brand, comparable to other legendary street and skate brands with huge global followings. Carhartt WIP has been the collaborator arm of the workwear brand, with some hugely successful collections created with other favourite streetwear brands. One such collaboration includes the line of A Bathing Ape X Carhartt WIP hallmarked by a range of boldly printed camouflage hoodies and jackets emblazoned with the branded logos of each brand. Other best selling collaborations have come from works with Comme des Garçons, Vetements, Junya Watanabe Pontus Alv's Polar Skate Co, and Gosha Rubchinskiy and Tolya Titaev's streetwear diffusion label Rassvet. One of the biggest collaborations the brand has enjoyed has been Carhatt X A.P.C., with three separate collections up to 2019. The Carhartt X A.C.C. collaborations have been characterised by a heavy use of denim, utility-style pockets, classic washed blue shades, and boldly branded crew neck t-shirts.
Here at Incu we stock the best selling range of seasonal men’s Carhartt apparel and accessories, and a selection of limited Carhartt collaborations like the Carhartt X A.P.C. range inspired by traditional workwear with a utilitarian and functional aesthetic. Shop the range in store or online at Incu, and browse our selection of men’s styles from A.P.C., rag & bone, Saturdays NYC, Norse Projects, and more.