Monday, October 24, 2011

The Great Outdoors...More Vintage Trends for Fall/Winter 2011

There is no shortage of outdoors space in North America, and plenty of great sportswear companies have and continue to supply it's outdoors loving population with everything they could want and need . Wool hunting shirts & jackets from companies like Woolrich & Pendleton have been serving Americans well for around a hundred years, and in recent years this rugged utilitarian clothing has crossed over into street style and contemporary fashion. In 2011 you are just as likely to see someone sporting a buffalo plaid hunting coat on the streets of Brooklyn or Jersey City as you are in a rural town in Pennsylvania or Oregon. Perhaps the classic cut and styling, paired with the hard wearing fabrics and practical functionality of the garments appeals to the cash strapped modern day urbanite. Going vintage shopping for these heritage brands can definitely gets you the biggest bang for your buck. Here are some great outdoor wear pieces we have/had for the season...

SOLD Fantastic rare 1960's 'Abercrombie & Fitch Safari' patchwork hunting jacket

Great corduroy & canvas patchwork
Hunting pocket detail outside and inside
1960's 'Abercrombie & Fitch' Safari label

You'd find it hard to believe now, but before Abercrombie was a teen-loved mall-monster with greased up hunks, and nauseating cologne pumping from its doors, it used to make really great American outdoor gear, camping and hunting equipment. Started by David Abercrombie all the way back in 1892, it was originally called 'Abercrombie & Co'. He was joined by business partner Elra Fitch around 1900, who provided the money to expand the company, and then bought out David's share in the company a few years later. In 1913 the re-named 'Abercrombie & Fitch' moved from Broadway to Fifth Ave, and by the late 1920's it was widely considered to be the largest sporting goods store in the world. The company fell into trouble in the 60's and was declared bankrupt by the mid 1970's. In the late 1980's the company was bought by the Limited. They re-marketed the brand to teens and college students with a softer approach to All-American sportswear, and transformed Abercrombie into the mall chain we know today.

Striking red & black vintage 'Hudson's Bay Blanket Coat'

Vintage 'Hudson's Bay Company' label

The 'Hudson's Bay company' dates way back to the 1670's as a fur trading post. Furs were traded for manufactured good, and the iconic point blankets were traded by Europeans to Canadians and Native American in exchange for Beaver pelts. By the 1800's there were numerous Hudson's Bay Company trading posts throughout Canada, and many were converted into retail shops as the 20th Century approached. Hooded coats called Capotes were made from the point blankets, perfect for the harsh Canadian winters. The company continues to operate to this day.

Vintage Point Blanket wrap coat with classic red, green and yellow stripe.

From left to right; Vintage L.L.Bean leather & rubber 16'' hunting boots, Vintage hiking boots, Vintage L.L.Bean classic 'Duck' hunting boots.

The L.L.Bean company was founded in 1912 by avid hunter and fisherman Leon Leonwood Bean in Greenwood Maine. He developed a waterproof boot made from a lightweight leather upper and rubber bottoms that he marketed to hunters like himself. After obtaining a list of Maine hunting license holders, he prepared a mail order circular, and set up shop in his brothers basement in Freeport, Maine. From there he started a nation wide mail order business. The mail order company continues to thrive today, and now boasts over a hundred retail and outlet stores worldwide. The original L.L.Bean boot (see above) remains a staple of the company's outdoor image a hundred years later!

Vintage Boy Scouts of America wool jacket with assorted patches

Vintage Boy Scouts patch detail

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