In the mid 1980s America was awash in blue denim—a trend that paved the way for Carhartt's brown duck canvas to emerge as a subversive street style icon across Europe. Though the trend started with imported American-made garments from the Detroit-based brand, two entrepreneurs earned the right to license Carhartt in a few key European markets in the late ‘80s, and thus Work In Progress was born. Since the apparel brand has grown to establish a cult following across the world—think Supreme or Stüssy, in a sense.
The Carhartt WIP Archives, a new hardcover from Rizzoli, looks back on 30 years of evolution and of the youth-conscious brand with over 250 previously unpublished photographs, artworks, and memorabilia drawn from the company’s own archvies, as well as private collections.
Over 428 pages Carhartt WIP Archives details the brand’s rich history of defining street culture in Europe and beyond, from early the adoption of skateboarding and underground music to later collaborations with such storied designers as Junya Watanabe, A.P.C., and Neighborhood. The brand’s international appeal is in their DNA—American workwear reimagined by a Swiss German designer and adopted by Parisian skaters and London hip hoppers. But to really wrap your head around the history, we recommend diving into the book yourself.