Those of you who followed my lyrics this of Manolo has probably sensed that I have a particular fondness for the British, solid craftsmanship, an interesting story and a beautiful product. If all these things are combined it will be usually very good. Today is such a case. I recently got wind of the reinvention of British ytterplaggsspecialisten Grenfell and went running on all cylinders.
The company has as you shall receive a really interesting story. They have since time made a revival and posed for the first time at Pitti Uomo in January and it was also in this way I heard about them.
The company was founded in 1923 in England. The name Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell come from Grenfell who came to lend his name. He was a doctor, explorers and missionaries during the late 1800 ‘s and well into the 1900 ‘s. He traveled to the world at that time very inaccessible places, such as the Labrador coast of Newfoundland in Canada, and appeared there.
Another part of the story Thomas Haythornthwaite (I know, his name is like taken out a Dickensroman). He traveled back to England from the United States where he stayed for some time and 1908 he opened a factory and weaving under the name t. Haythornthwaite & Sons Ltd in Brierfield together with his son Walter. 10 years later, the movement had grown and had 750 looms and moved to Burnley. Mr Haythornthwaite 1922 came in contact with Sir Grenfell and was struck by the doctor lacked a functional fabric that managed by the pressures he faced. Grenfell said he lacked a fabric that was both windproof and could breathe. Haythornthwaite took on the task that was not simple at this time. He was testing with a dense weaving of the best Egyptian cotton. He rebuilt the looms and tried it out. In the end, he was happy with the result and sent the fabric to Labrador and Sir Grenfell. This had no commercial purpose, but he just wanted to help the doctor whose work he admired. Only when Grenfell tested the fabric and became so happy that he suggested to Haythornthwaite began made it and sell it. He also lent his name to the fabric and history of the famous Grenfelltyget.
Since then, it has played a significant role in the British history and a number of people have made various exploits wearing just Grenfelltyg.
Captain George Eyston wore it when he reached the 1938 in car then unprecedented speed of 367 mph and became the world’s fastest man on land.
Other speedsters such as Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son Donald Campbell MBE bar both in car and boat Grenfelltyg when they competed in the prestigious context, 1931-1935 and broke a number of records.
1933 was put a tent up by made of Grenfelltyg on Mount Everest. F.s. Smythe slept in this tent at the world’s highest altitude for 13 hours in spite of the fact that researchers and experts said that he would never wake up again if this happened, but he did. The fabric had to be with that tent on the additional Mount Everest expedition 1936, 1938 and 1952. The list goes on, and the fabric has been used in a number of famous British expeditions around the world during the 30-50 century.
During the 1940 ‘s, the company started to manufacture his own garments of the fabric that it sold. It chugged on, and not much happened. Like many venerable fine British firms was worsening in the modern era and at 90 ‘s sold the entire company to a Japanese cashmere company. 2002 bought the British company Azam family and moved it back to London. Family Azam had a long background in textile and has in its factory earlier made garments for renowned companies such as including Burberry and Aquascutum. With their knowledge of manufacturing and similar garments, they saw an interesting opportunity with Grenfell and wanted to breathe life into it again.
They made a big bet and hired designers and new staff and placed the operations to the factory in East London where you tried to have an output similar to that which existed on the Haythornthwaites time. The Chief Designer was Joselyn Clarke with a background including Hardy Amies and Aquascutum, and a very good understanding of both tailoring, construction and outerwear. They had already experienced staff at the factory who could manage the production of similar high quality garments. They are sure the epithet Made in Britain and take all material from other respected British firms.
When it comes to design, it is classic British, timeless and simple. Which perhaps is an advantage when the garments cost quite a lot and you may want to be comfortable with wearing them for a long time without taking into consideration the trends prevailing. It’s everything from vintage scented sportswear to traditional trenchcoats and paletåer in crombieutförande. One of our favorites is their so-called shooting jacket made for world’s most British shop; Cordings of Piccadilly.
It will be really exciting to see how it goes for the company. We believe that the concept can work and that this type of garment can appeal to an audience that is fastidious in terms of production, material and classic looks and looks a good outerwear as a long investment.