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carhartt-wip-brand-guide

 

Carhartt WIP: Brand Guide

As one of the originators of contemporary streetwear, Carhartt WIP uniquely blends a rich heritage with a modern design philosophy that has gained it loyal fans all over the world. Whether you’re an avid collector, or are thinking about picking up your first Carhartt WIP piece, you can find out more about the brand right here.

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Carhartt WIP Company Profile

Established:

1889 (Carhartt) / 1994 (Carhartt WIP)

Founder:

Hamilton Carhartt (1889) / Edwin Faeh (1994)

HQ:

Dearborn, Michigan, USA

Current CEO:

Mark Valade

Number of Employees:

Approx. 1,600

Annual Turnover:

Approx. $1 billion

 

Carhartt WIP: From Workwear to Streetwear

Carhartt was founded in the American Midwest just before the turn of the 20th century. Originally created to produce practical clothing for blue-collar workers, such as the rail workers of Detroit, manual labourers and loggers, their designs had a focus on strong and durable clothing and materials, with the tagline “honest value for an honest dollar”. The company evolved and transformed over the years, eventually being adopted by leading figures within the graffiti art, skateboarding, and hip hop subcultures of the late 1980’s and early 90’s, to whom it has since become inextricably linked.

Carhartt WIP (Carhartt Work In Progress) was officially founded in 1994 by Edwin Faeh, with the mission of refining and reimagining Carhartt’s American heritage for the European market. Taking inspiration from the traditional Carhartt style, Carhartt WIP offers clothing of a more contemporary, streetwear fashion. Renowned for their boxy cuts and oversized styles, Carhartt WIP adopts the use of modern lines, strong colours, and simple and intelligent designs, while retaining the traditional utilitarian, workwear aesthetic and the use of quality, robust materials.

Widely considered to be a pioneer of streetwear, the company has gone from strength to strength ever since. Nowadays, Carhartt threads can regularly be seen worn by the likes of Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Shia LaBeouf, Bella Hadid, and Jonah Hill.

Discover the full history of Carhartt WIP

The Influence of Carhartt WIP

“We didn’t choose the culture, the culture chose us.”

Over the last three decades, Carhartt WIP’s iconic ‘C’ logo has become part of the cultural zeitgeist, synonymous with different facets of youth culture. Its history is forever intertwined with that of American hip-hop, European club music, graffiti artists, BMXers, skate culture, surfers, and more.

By not following traditional marketing routes, the brand has maintained an authenticity that has resonated all over the world. What started out life as a humble workwear brand is now an iconic streetwear juggernaut, found everywhere from Detroit to Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and beyond. It's a hallmark of the niche, the subversive, the unusual and the exciting.

Since featuring in the 1995 French cult-classic film La Haine, the brand’s close relationship with art and culture has seen them work with the likes of British abstract filmmaker Joshua Gordon, Detroit rapper Danny Brown, and photographer Alexander Basile. Their inherent connection with the music scene even saw them establish their own record label, Combination Records, which eventually evolved into Carhartt WIP Music; an endeavour that still sees them supporting emerging music acts.

Meanwhile, Carhartt WIP’s much sought-after legitimacy and credibility has led them to collaborate with renowned names such as BAPE, A.P.C, Neighbourhood, Highsnobiety, Patta, Converse, Mo’design, NIke, and more.

The influence of the Carhartt brand, and Carhartt WIP in particular, on contemporary streetwear culture is undeniable. Since before the concept of streetwear even existed in the minds of most fashion conscious consumers, Carhartt was fundamental in laying the foundations of a scene that fuses everything from fashion and art to music, graffiti and skateboarding; a scene that the brand continues to be an important part of today.

Carhartt WIP: Core Products

Chore Coat

Blending their traditional, no-nonsense workwear aesthetic with a modern, contemporary outlook, Carhartt WIP Chore Coats are a staple of the brand. Constructed from their famous organic Dearborn Canvas, they’re hardwearing, stylish, and instantly recognisable.

Shop Carhartt WIP Outerwear

Watch Beanie Hat

Simple, utilitarian design at its best, Carhartt WIP Watch Beanies have been worn by everyone from manual workers to cultural icons. Each one provides warmth, functionality, and a timeless aesthetic.

Shop Carhartt WIP Hats & Caps

Master Pant

The archetypal, workwear-inspired Master Pant is an enduring brand essential. Constructed from Carthartt WIP’s hard-wearing 8.8oz ‘Denison’ Twill – a mid-weight but tough poly-cotton blend - the Master Pant has a relaxed cut which tapers below the knee.

Shop Carhartt WIP Trousers

Chase Tee

A Carhartt WIP classic, the Chase Tee reflects the brands rooting in music, skateboarding, art and culture. Constructed from combed-cotton jersey, the Chase Tee features an embroidered Carhartt ‘C’ motif on the left chest, and has a loose, boxy fit.

Shop Carhartt WIP T-shirts

Chase Hoodie

Another Carhartt WIP staple, the Chase Hoodie combines comfort with durability. Constructed from heavyweight, cotton-poly fabric, the Chase Hoodie has a regular fit and is detailed with raglan sleeves, flatlock stitching, and a kangaroo pocket, with the iconic ‘C’ logo embroidered on the left sleeve.

Shop Carhartt WIP Sweatshirts & Hoodies

What People Ask About Carhartt WIP

What does WIP stand for?

Carhartt WIP stands for ‘Carhartt Work In Progress’. Launched in 1994 by Edwin Faeh, Carhartt WIP was founded with the aim to refine and reinterpret Carhartt’s American heritage for the European market while retaining the quality and authenticity of the original brand.

What is the difference between Carhartt and Carhartt WIP?

Carhartt WIP is the streetwear version of the Carhartt brand, inspired by the musicians, artists, skateboarders, and subcultures that adopted their clothing in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. In 1994, they were granted a licence to create their own lines of clothing under the name Carhartt Work In Progress (WIP).

Where is Carhartt WIP from?

Carhartt was originally founded in Dearborn, Michigan, USA by Hamilton Carhartt in 1889. To this day, the streetwear version of the brand, Carhartt WIP, still has its headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, USA.

Does Carhartt WIP have good quality?

Yes! The Carhartt WIP brand is synonymous with good quality, and well known for its strong and durable clothing. All of their garments are made from quality, hardwearing materials and are relatively long-lasting - even with daily, rough use.

Why is Carhartt WIP so popular?

Carhartt WIP is world-renowned for its quality, durability, and iconic style. It combines traditional, robust workwear designs with a more modern, contemporary aesthetic, and is particularly popular within hip hop music, art, and skateboarding subcultures.

How does Carhartt WIP clothing fit?

Carhartt WIP clothing generally runs big and traditionally has a loose, boxy fit, so if you're between sizes we’d recommend you go for the smaller size. Check out our comprehensive Carhartt WIP Size & Fit Guide for more information.

Who wears Carhartt WIP?

The Carhartt WIP brand is widely recognised as one of the pioneers of streetwear fashion. It is enduringly popular within hip hop music, art, and skateboarding subcultures. Some famous wearers include Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Action Bronson, Shia LaBeouf, Bella Hadid, and Jonah Hill.

Where are Carhartt WIP products made?

Founded and originally manufactured in America, Carhartt WIP products are today produced at a company-owned factory in Tunisia with the support of suppliers around the world, and sold globally.

How do you wash Carhartt WIP products?

It’s always best to follow the instructions on the label but, generally speaking, Carhartt clothing should be washed on cold to warm, do not use bleach and tumble dry on medium.

Is Carhartt WIP ethical?

Carhartt is committed to conducting business in a fair and ethical manner. They have established a Code of Conduct with a minimum set of standards in line with internationally accepted labour standards, and aspire to partner with companies that share their corporate values and commitment to continuous process improvements as it relates to social and environmental practices.

Is Carhartt WIP sustainable?

Carhartt WIP have taken a number of important steps to help ensure that their environmental principles are upheld throughout the global network of factories supporting the business. Key steps include a Code of Conduct that establishes expectations for all suppliers and licensee relationships. This code provides key baseline expectations for environmental protection, responsible working conditions and fundamental human rights.

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