Traditional yet forward-thinking, it’s no wonder British-born Belstaff are a global success. Worn by A-listers such as David Beckham and Brad Pitt, the label has earned itself a worldwide following.
Synonymous with adventure and exploration, Belstaff has featured in films – worn by Will Smith in I Am Legend and Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones – and even dressed some of the greatest adventurers of the past century, including Amelia Earhart, T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) and Che Guevara.
Founded in Stoke-On-Trent back in 1924, the brand has not forgotten its British heritage, despite now being Italian-owned. This year it made a return to London Collections: Men with its AW15 collection, inspired by the Ton-Up boys. “The Ton-Up boys were initially influenced by Marlon Brando, but they put their own British twist on the look, adding elements of wax cotton with military surplus garments,” explains Frederik Dyhr, the VP of the brand’s men’s design.
Reworking traditional pieces is a Belstaff speciality. This season the famous Milford coat, worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock, has been updated as the “New Milford”. It is crafted from a membrane-backed cashmere to make it water-repellent.
Although it may seem an innovative piece of design, Belstaff were actually producing a similar coat back in the early 1930s. “We always re-propose styles in an entirely modern and relevant way. I get so much inspiration simply from being immersed in the culture and society and from the British streets,” explains Frederik.
After a period of time away from Britain, Belstaff is now rightfully back in its birthplace. “Even when we were away, Belstaff never lost sight of its roots within British fashion. Having worked for the brand while it was based in New York, I can honestly say that our return here feels like a true homecoming.”
What can we expect to see from Belstaff in the coming year? “Certainly the expansion of our product range and our entrance into new markets. But to tell you more would be to ruin the surprise!”
Belstaff AW15 Collection Video: Ton-Up Boys
Belstaff AW15 Collection: Ton-Up Boys