Harrington jacket : the original!
Few months ago (perhaps 2 years ago) in a show, I stumbled across a “Harrington” stand. I was surprised to see that it actually came from brand, and a French one ! The “Harrington” was a fashion icon from my college years. At least in my mind, it was linked to punk culture and could only be English! Hence my surprise.
The Harrington is back!
I’m seeing some in many shops since few weeks. It appealed my curiosity, so I tried to discover its origins. Why, if Harrington is supposed to be a brand, can we also find it among other brands like Ben Sherman or Fred Perry’s collections? (we’ll notice that they’re both English brands!)
Starting the search
Starting point: I got in touch with one of Harrington’s managers. He gave me a brief outline of the brand’s history to answer my questions. And another surprise: he kept refering to English culture! How could it really come from France? I saw that the question made them uncomfortable, so I changed the direction of my research…
Later, broaching the subject with a fan of English fashion, I discovered another brand, English this time, who was claiming the invention of the Harrington: its name is Baracuta! I followed this way and it lead me to a Baracuta’s representatives who answered my first question very clearly:
– Is the Harrington from France?
– Ours is the TRUE and Original. Ask me some questions and I will be delighted to tell you the real story.
It seemed that I went in the right direction. And his answers to my questions allowed me to discover the origins of the “Harrington” name.
Here’s the story
Baracuta was created in the 30’s, and became particularly well-known for the quality of its raincoats. One of its jacket is called the G9. It’s basically a sort raincoat made of waterproof material, which length is particularly well-suited to play golf (hence the G). How come? Well, that’s the use it was designed for.
Then, why is it called “Harrington” if its original name is supposed to be G9?
Well, it’s a nickname which use came later. In the 60’s, there was a very popular series on American TV called “Peyton Place”. The first to be broadcasted early in the evening (at primetime). It was made of 514 30-minute episodes and was shown between 1964 and 1969. One of the characters, Rodney Harrington, was played by Ryan O’Neal. And he was wearing a G9!
At that time, John Simmons owned a famous store in London called “The Ivy Shop”. He was the first person to call the jacket a “Harrington”, refering to the series. As often with popular nicknames, it did spread, and has stuck! All this story to tell you why we call this jacket “Harrington”. Isn’t it great?
As the jacket was designed for golf players, it’s side pockets are deep and angled. Now you know about the original use, can you guess why such features? Yes, to keep golf balls! Another thing, there’s no seam at the shoulders level to feel more comfortable while making golf moves. Baracuta’s Harrington has two patented features : the tartan, whose design is specific to them, and the umbrella-shaped rear designed to allow water running off the back of the jacket to avoid your trousers to get wet!
Harrington, music, sport and cinema
Let’s go back to my college years, were I discovered that the jacket was worn by the Clash during a concert in Times Square (1981)! And that’s the reason why it is part of the punk and general rock outfit. More recently, Liam Gallagher, Franz Ferdinand, Razorlight and Pete Doherty are wearing it. And again more recently we’ve seen on Mr. James Bond, Daniel Craig’s shoulders, and also sports stars such as Thierry Henry.
Now you now know the whole story of the “Harrington”. Here are some addresses where you can buy the Baracuta “Harrington” in Paris from. RRP: €189