Whilst our continental cousins such as late Stone Island/CP Company guru Massimo Osti are often rightly lauded for their revolutionary approach to design, it is often from these shores that many of the iconic pieces of menswear have emerged.
One such classic is the Baracuta G9 ‘Harrington’ Jacket, originally designed by brothers John and Isaac Miller in 1937 and lined with its instantly recognisable Fraser Tartan since 1938, the G9 has been systematically copied since, but never bettered.
The jacket rose to prominence when production spread to the United States and Canada in the decades that followed and was popularised by those who represented the pinnacle of 50’s and 60’s American cool such as Frank Sinatra in ‘Assault on a Queen’, Elvis in ‘King Creole’ and Steve McQueen both in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ and on the front cover of Time magazine. Gaining it’s Harrington moniker in the latter decade after Ryan O’Neal’s character Rodney Harrington often sported one in the television series Peyton Place.
Contemporaneously it was equally as popular this side of the pond with the original sixties Mods as Vespa scooters and frothy coffee. Whilst, the England team sported official Baracuta jackets en route to winning the world cup in 1966. However, it is the jackets ability to transcend different youth cults that has most contributed to its legacy. Throughout its history the G9 Harrington has been as likely to be sported by punk as it was a mod or a skin, Joe Strummer and Paul Weller both wore them despite being from opposite ends of the fashion spectrum. Furthermore, they were as likely to be seen on the terraces of a Saturday afternoon as they were at a gig on a Friday night.
Despite being over 70 years old this popularity has endured and just as the epitome of 60’s cool and pop stars of the 70’s and 80’s sported the jackets, equally the likes of Daniel Craig, Liam Gallagher, Damon Albarn and Pete Doherty have all been seen wearing them over recent years. Whilst revivalist films such as This Is England have seen the G9’s appeal reach yet another generation.
Sleek and stylish, smart and sporty in equal measure, the Baracuta G9 ‘Harrington’ Jacket is an instantly recognisable British design classic and iconic piece of menswear – one of Britain’s greatest contributions to the world at large.
By Callum West