Carhartt WIP Company Profile and History
Established in 1994 by Edwin Faeh, Carhartt Work In Progress (WIP) develops its own collections based on original Carhartt workwear. The brand combines authentic adaptations of the robust American archetypes, while engaging with the subcultures that have embraced it. This, in turn, has seen Carhartt WIP place itself in a new context, while bringing forth its own classics. Since the late 1980s, countercultures across the globe have taken the rugged spirit of Carhartt workwear originals and made it their own. Meanwhile, with a growing network and a strong foundation, Carhartt WIP opened its first store in London in 1997, and began to engage with cultural spheres outside its own industry. This saw the brand launch its own skate team and music departments, while also supporting an array of artists and releasing various publications.
Since 2010, Carhartt WIP has worked with a number of like-minded brands, including A.P.C., Converse, Fragment Design, Junya Watanabe, Nike and Vetements, as well as collaborating with music icons, such as Fela Kuti, Underground Resistance, and Vestax.
CARHARTT WIP HISTORY
1989 - 2020
1989 Under the title “All American Concept”, Edwin Faeh begins to introduce distinctly American products, such as Carhartt, to the European market.
1992 The rise of Carhartt’s street credibility happens when it is adopted by rappers, graffiti writers and corner boys, for its robust qualities and utilitarian aesthetic.
1994 Work in Progress (WIP) is established by Edwin Faeh to become the exclusive distributor of Carhartt in Europe.
1995 Mathieu Kassovitz’s “La Haine” becomes one of the first movies to feature Carhartt, coinciding with its rising popularity in underground music and cultural scenes throughout Europe.
1996 Work In Progress acquires the license to manufacture Carhartt products outside of the USA, and releases its first collection the following year.
1997 The first Carhartt WIP store opens on Neal Street in London.
1997 Carhartt WIP launches its own skate and BMX teams.
1999 Evan Hecox creates a series of illustrated ad campaigns for the brand, with this style becoming synonymous with Carhartt WIP campaigns of that era.
2000 Carhartt WIP presents its first women’s collection.
2000 Combination Records is established by Edwin Faeh, Oliver Drewes, and Philipp Maiburg for Carhartt WIP as an open platform for new electronic music.
2003 The first issue of Rugged Magazine, a publication by Carhartt WIP, is launched. It would continue for a further 19 issues.
2007 “Dirt Ollies: A Skateboard Trip to Mongolia” by Alexander Basile, Pontus Alv and Bertrand Trichet is released. (Published by Bildschöne Bücher and Carhartt WIP).
2008 Carhartt WIP Radio is launched, providing a new platform to showcase record labels and artists.
2010 Carhartt WIP first begins to work on capsule collections and special projects with other like-minded
brands. Over the years, the brand would go on to collaborate with the likes of A.P.C., Converse, Fragment Design, Junya Watanabe, Nike, Patta, Vans, Vestax, and Vetements.
2011 Carhartt WIP opens a store in New York City, coming full circle with its American origins.
2013 Carhartt WIP collaborates with Antiz Skateboards.
2014 Carhartt WIP celebrates its 25th anniversary.
2015 The book “From Dirt to Dust” is released, which revisits Mongolia a decade on from “Dirt Ollies.”
2016 “The Carhartt WIP Archives” book is released. Published by Rizzoli, it is the first extensive look inside the world of Carhartt WIP. The brand’s skate team, meanwhile, welcomes its first skaters from the US and Australia.
2017 Carhartt WIP works with Isle Skateboards on an exclusive capsule collection and “Paving Space” – a skateable art installation by Raphaël Zarka. The brand also becomes a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and commits to source more sustainable cotton year on year.
2017 Carhartt WIP collaborates with Detroit techno icons Underground Resistance.
2018 Carhartt WIP collaborates with Russian skate brand PACCBET and pays tribute to UK reggae and dub label Trojan with a special capsule collection. The brand also presents Soul Skate – a documentary filmed at Moodymann’s Detroit festival. Carhartt WIP Radio, meanwhile, celebrates its 10th anniversary.
2019 Carhartt WIP opens its second store in the USA, located in Los Angeles. The brand also introduces organic cotton to its collections and collaborates with Australian label PASS-PORT Skateboards.
2020 Carhartt WIP continues to expand its product range, through ongoing partnerships with GORE-TEX INFINIUM and Converse. The brand also collaborates with Awake NYC.