I’m thinking of writing a series of blogs about terrace clobber legends, so let’s star with a popular jacket that goes back a couple of subcultures in the UK.
It started in the 1930′s in the UK as a short raincoat made by a company called Baracuta, run by brothers John and Isaacs Miller in Chorlton Street, Manchester. The model was called G9 and the first jacket was sold in 1937, according to different reports.
The jacket was designed for playing golf in lousy English weather, the G in G9 stands for Golf. Its deep and angled pockets are designed for holding golf balls and the sleeves and shoulders allow freedom of movement. All of these features proved relevant for youth cultures once they adopted the style. Let’s take it one step at the time, though.
First Baracuta G9 sold to golfers and fashionable young man alike. Fraser tartan, cotton, waterproof.
It all exploded once Elvis Presley wore the Baracuta G9 in the King Creole movie. James Dean wore a red one in Rebel without a cause. G9 is now in all major stores and catching on in the youth culture.
No stopping it now. The mods and the skinheads considered it a part of their uniform. It was worn by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Ryan O’Neill. This is when the Harrington jacket gets its nickname by the character Rodney Harrington (played by Ryan O’Neal) of the “Payton place”. Rodney sported the G9 frequently and then it just cought on.
“At the time, John Simmons owned a famous store in London called “The Ivy Shop”. He was the first person to call the jacket a “Harrington”, referring to the series. And as is often the case with a popular nickname, it spread, and has stuck!”
The punks, skinhead and mod revivalists, and scooterists. The Clash, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Palmer (pro golf) and many others. The revivalists brought back the Harrington and this is were it really kicked of in the terrace cultures, since the mod and skinhead revivalists were a big part of the terrace scene at the time.
The mods, skins revivalists are still here, along with the punks. Worn by The Clash, Michael Keaton and others. Terrace culture is now all casual, but the Harrington is still here.
Mr James Bond him self is looking good in one, Pete Doherty, Joe Strummer, Thierry Henry, all sorts of people are jumping the vintage dandy wagon. It’s still very much a part of different urban youth cultures, most of them originated from the mods one way or the other.
In 2007, the Baracuta company celebrated 70 years of the G9 and released three special edition G9s with quotes by Steve McQueen, Elvis and Frank Sinatra (all of them frequent wearers of the Harrington jacket) printed on the lining. The Harrington is now made by different vendors, including the popular choices such as Ben Sherman and Fred Perry. Nevertheless, there’s only one original Harrington and that’s the Baracuta G9 made in England and it retails at around €189.
R (with some help from the internets), Riot team
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