It’s only a couple of weeks until Autumn officially begins so I felt like it was time to switch our focus to those brands which were made for this time of year. Belstaff and Barbour are the two big names which we love to associate with the colder and wetter months here in England, so I feel like I could discuss them all day long. But as it’s been such a big year for Belstaff, I’ve decided to focus on them in this week’s article. This is British brand which has such a rich history but still continues to produce classic styles with that modern touch. If you didn’t know already, Belstaff was founded back in 1924 in the northern city of Stoke-on-Trent by Eli Belovitch and his son-in-law Harry Grosberg. The creators of the first water resistant wax cotton, Belstaff quickly became the go-to brand for aviators and racing car drivers – basically anyone who was crazy enough to throw themselves into a fast moving object. It was, and really still is a name which represents a lifestyle driven by adventure and achievement, but it’s also been throughly embraced by the fashion enthusiasts as well as the fearless explorers.
They’ve got a pretty vast client list to boast about too, from guerilla leaders (Che Guevara) and aviation pioneers (Amelia Earhart), to F1 driver Jackie Stewart and supermodel Kate Moss – you can’t get more eclectic than that. In 2011 Swiss luxury brand leader Labelux Group bought and relaunched Belstaff was the luxury lifestyle brand we know it as. This year there was even bigger news for them, ex-footballer and style icon David Beckham was announced as the new face off Belstaff, replacing Ewan McGregor.
‘About 5 or 6 years I was looking for a cool biker jacket. I went into this vintage store and came across this vintage Belstaff jacket. I have worn it ever since.” David Beckham
Along with the launch of their global advertising campaign for AW14, the two big names have joined forces to create a collaborative menswear range influenced by Beckham’s personal style. So overall it’s been a blooming big year from them so far and with all that comes the pressure to produce this season. And you know what, they have. The range plays tribute to the British motorcycle riders of the 1965 International Six Day Trial race on the Isle of Man. The collection is heavily based on three factors; protection, functionality and endurance, reviving those archived classics with a modern approach. With the British elements in mind, you’ll see layering has played an important part in the Belstaff lifestyle. Expect chunky woollen jumpers with splashes of leather in keeping with the biker heritage, easy-going branded t-shirts and the signature 4 pocket wax cotton jacket. This is exactly what I mean when it comes down to this brand being the epitome of British Autumn/ Winter, it’s made with spirit and freedom in mind.