When Belstaff launched in 1924, the British company made waxed cotton jackets for motorcyclists. Almost a century later, Belstaff is still working with that waxed cotton. But now, under the watchful eye of chief creative officer Martin Cooper, it has added more luxurious elements, including crocodile, to the mix.
Ever true to its roots, Belstaff is revisiting its signature item, the Trialmaster jacket. Beloved by icons like Steve McQueen, for whom the brand released a special-edition jacket a few years back, and Che Guevara, the Trialmaster gets an update this autumn courtesy of Cooper.
“I wanted to reclaim ownership over something that was ours,” Cooper says. “The Trialmaster has had an incredible history and proven longevity.”
Belstaff isn’t the only brand trading on that. The prevalence of the field jacket trend this autumn is visible in Bally’s leather-trimmed shearling version as well as Ralph Lauren’s wool take, which sports a removable hood.
Despite the updates, Cooper says the spirit of the piece hasn’t been altered. “What makes it iconic is that it hasn’t changed much in the last six decades,” he says. “It’s truly in a class all to itself.”