Carhartt is a brand that leads a peculiar double life. Carhartt clothing is made now with the same intended purpose that it had a century ago, to withstand the demanding rigors of heavy industrial and manual labor. Of course, a lot of brands have heritage in one area, and transitioned over the years to a purely fashion product. This is not the case with Carhartt, which is still an industry leader in functional workwear, and, at any given time, can be found on, pretty much, any randomly selected worksite in the country. A garment that can be worn day in, day out while operating a thresher, or arc welding, is about as far from fashion as you can get. At the same time, Carhartt is a consistently popular fixture amongst some seriously stylish people.
Work In Progress is Carhartt’s acknowledgement of the brand’s success as a fashion item. Originally designed for and released in the discerning European market, where Carhartt did not have a specific legacy that the buying public would hold them to, the traditional aesthetic and craft techniques are applied to clothing that is still functional, and made with the same craft techniques as traditional Carhartt workwear, but with a greater emphasis on fashion and style. Practically, this means slimmer cuts and a sharp eye for graphics and design, but culturally, it would be difficult to find a more perfect example of a brand’s organic acceptance into an inner circle of credibility and style.