Woolrich Brand Guide
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An Introduction To Woolrich
Proud to sit within a handful of patriotic American brands with a hugely reputable history and status not only in design, but also in the production of their own materials, Woolrich now stands at the pinnacle of styling that carries a heritage element, but also offers a hefty dose of quality, innovation and class.
Born through times of struggle, Woolrich clothing has grown in parallel with America’s development, coming from a time where slavery divided the nation, and surviving right through to the modern day.
Like most good producers of fine materials and products, Woolrich has developed its self through its reputation as a producer of outdoor clothing- something they have been doing for over 180 years.
Founded in 1830 by John Rich, an English immigrant in America, Woolrich started life when Rich built his first woolen mill in Plum Run, Pennsylvania. Starting out slowly, Rich began to produce simple designs such as socks and coverlets. He would then load up his cart and travel the area, selling his products, as well as his wool to the lumber camps in the region.
Fifteen years later, Rich had up scaled and moved mills. He built a new mill just two miles up the road, on the Chatam Run River, which gave him a more reliable source of water. It also came with extra land, meaning that the production of Woolrich wool and products could expand. This mill still exists today and remains as a focal point of the Woolrich brand.
The timing of Woolrich’s development and growth is monumental. The brand has survived some of America’s most infamous eras, from civil war (where they provided Union soldiers with blankets to keep warm), to the great depression and two world wars. The brand witnessed and thrived in the industrial revolution and contributed to the growth of an often divided nation that ultimately became one of the largest superpowers in the world.
Innovation and the development of style and their products was always a focal point of the Woolrich brand. Legend claims that they were the first brand to put a fly zip on a pair of trousers. However, in their search for advancement in the technology of their clothing, Woolrich created some designs that would prove to become synonymous with the brand. The zip through Rail Road vest was designed to be worn for the men working on Pennsylvania’s rail road network during the industrial revolution. Made of tough wearing wool, it was warm, practical and didn’t hinder the worker’s movements, making it the ideal partner for laying miles of track. Following the tracks creation, the vest was then worn by conductors who worked on the trains. The same vest is still produced today, with a more modern cut and design. However, time moved on, and so did Woolrich. Never staying still, they moved with the changes in society. As American’s became more active, Woolrich supplied them with the clothing they needed to help them out. Everything from clothing made for golf, to heavy coats for hunters and skiers were made. When the nation became more mobile through the development of their roads, Woolrich designed clothes for driving called ‘Automobile Robes’, to cater for the population who could afford to travel by car.
However, Woolrich never lost touch with its roots as a producer of performance woolen clothing, and in 1939, 1940 and 1941, they were commissioned by the government to supply Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to Antarctica, creating styles that would with stand some of the harshest conditions on earth. Using the developments to materials that shortly followed, Woolrich expanded their audience again, using high tech fabrics to cater for everyone from professional rock climbers, to amateur hikers on a weekend ramble. The historic brands headquarters are still based in the small village of Woolrich, Pennsylvania, (the site of Rich’s second mill), but that’s where the similarities to the company’s past ends. Now an internationally known and loved brand, Woolrich has spread its wings and emerged from American shores to become adored worldwide. With a cult following all of its own, Woolrich is loved for its principles of sticking to tradition, and its commitment to living the heritage behind the brand. With production still taking place at the original Woolrich mill, which has now grown so large that it has its own working township, the construction of all Woolrich products is still as authentic and traditional as it has ever been.
Woolrich's Popularity & Celebrities
With celebrity endorsements coming from all corners of the world, Woolrich has gone beyond being a performance brand and waltzed onto the fashion scene, with their tried and tested outerwear. With styles that have been fine tuned for hundreds of years, celebrities from film director Steven Spielberg to stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Vin Diesel have been spotted wearing Woolrich parkas. Even Italian football hero and trend setter Paolo Maldini has been seen wear Woolrich outerwear when the weather takes a turn for the worst, trusting the brands unprecedented experience in keeping him warm through the Winter months.
Browse this seasons full range of Woolrich Coats and Clothing
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