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CARHARTT WIP - HISTORY IN THE MAKING

1855: Hamilton Carhartt is born in Macedon Locks, New York.

1889: With only four sewing machines and five employees, Hamilton Carhartt begins to manufacture overalls in duck and denim, under trade union conditions.

1910: The Carhartt Company expands to include two cotton mills in Georgia and South Carolina as well as factories in Detroit, Dallas and San Francisco.

1911: The Carhartt Automobile Corporation produces around 300 “Pleasure Cars” a year under the motto “The last word in motor construction”.


1914: During WWI, Carhartt produces workman uniforms for the military. With a reported total of 17 factories, the Carhartt clothing company reaches the height of its economic success in the first two decades of the 20th century.


1923: The iconic Carhartt CO1 Chore Coat is advertised for the first time and becomes a key part of the Carhartt collection.


1932: Carhartt opens a new factory in Irvine, Kentucky and launch the “Back to the Land” campaign to offer workers better conditions away from the slums, sweat shops and the general distress of large industrial towns, now filled with thousands of unemployed due to the Great Depression.

1937: Hamilton Carhartt dies in a car crash in Grosse Pointe, Michigan at age 82, leaving the company to his sons Hamilton Jr, and Wylie.

1941: As the USA enters WWII, the entire US economy experiences a boost as factories back the war effort. Soldiers both home and abroad need sturdy, durable apparel.

1966: The spring collection includes a line of classic sports apparel, casual jackets, jeans and shirts, all made of canvas, with product names such as “Huggers pants” and “Surfers”.

1989: Carhartt celebrates its centennial anniversary.

1989: Under the title "All American Concept", Edwin Faeh starts to introduce distinctly American products, such as Carhartt, to the European market.

1992: The rise of Carhartt’s street credibility happens when it is adopted by rappers, graffiti writers and corner boys, for its robust qualities and utilitarian aesthetic.

1994: Work in Progress (WIP) is established by Edwin Faeh to become the exclusive distributor of Carhartt in Europe.

1995: Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” becomes one of the first movies to feature Carhartt, coinciding with its rising popularity in underground music and cultural scenes throughout Europe.

1996: Work In Progress acquires the license to manufacture Carhartt products outside of the USA, and releases its first collection the following year.

1997: The first Carhartt WIP store opens on Neal Street in London.

1997: Carhartt WIP launches its own skate and BMX teams.

1999: Evan Hecox creates a series of illustrated ad campaigns for the brand, with this style becoming synonymous with Carhartt WIP campaigns of that era.

2000: Carhartt WIP presents its first women’s collection.

2000: Combination Records is established by Edwin Faeh, Oliver Drewes, and Philipp Maiburg for Carhartt WIP as an open platform for new electronic music.

2003: The first issue of Rugged Magazine, a publication by Carhartt WIP, is launched. It would continue for a further 19 issues.

2007: ”Dirt Ollies: A Skateboard Trip to Mongolia" by Alexander Basile, Pontus Alv and Bertrand Trichet is released. (Published by Bildschöne Bücher & Carhartt WIP).

2008: Carhartt WIP Radio is launched, providing a new platform to showcase record labels and artists.

2010: Carhartt WIP first begins to work on capsule collections and special projects with other like-minded brands. Over the years, the brand would go on to collaborate with the likes of A.P.C., Converse, Fragment Design, Junya Watanabe, Nike, Patta, Vans, Vestax, and Vetements.

2011: Carhartt WIP opens a store in New York City, coming full circle with its American origins.

2013: Carhartt WIP collaborates with Antiz Skateboards.

2014: Carhartt WIP celebrates its 25th anniversary.

2015: The book “From Dirt to Dust” is released, which revisits Mongolia a decade on from “Dirt Ollies.”

2016: “The Carhartt WIP Archives” book is released. Published by Rizzoli, it is the first extensive look inside the world of Carhartt WIP. The brand’s skate team, meanwhile, welcomes its first skaters from the US and Australia.

2017: Carhartt WIP works with Isle Skateboards on an exclusive capsule collection and “Paving Space” – a skateable art installation by Raphaël Zarka. The brand also becomes a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and commits to source more sustainable cotton year on year. Additionally, Carhartt WIP collaborates with Detroit techno icons Underground Resistance, and launches WIP magazine, a new biannual publication.

2018: Carhartt WIP collaborates with Russian skate brand PACCBET and pays tribute to UK reggae and dub label Trojan with a special capsule collection. The brand also presents Soul Skate – a documentary filmed at Moodymann’s Detroit festival. Carhartt WIP Radio, meanwhile, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

2019: Carhartt WIP opens its second store in the USA, located in Los Angeles. The brand also introduces organic cotton to its collections and collaborates with Australian label PASS-PORT Skateboards. Additionally, Carhartt WIP creates two collaborative capsule collections that pay tribute to the legacies of Motown and Fela Kuti.

2020: Carhartt WIP continues to expand its product range, through ongoing partnerships with GORE-TEX INFINIUM and Converse. The brand also collaborates with Awake NYC, as well as Galleria Continua, releasing a range of products, skate film, and publication to mark the opening of the gallery’s new concrete skate run at its location in Boissy-le-Châtel near Paris.

©Carhartt WIP

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