Carhartt clothing has gone from being workwear to streetwear, back to just being workwear and back again. But will they survive on the street this time? The answer is yes.

Words: Tatiana R. Johnson
Images: Courtesy of Carhartt

Since 1889 Carhartt has been the quintessential workwear brand, providing railway worker uniforms to being donned by some of your favorite Hip-Hop artists circa the ’90s. Some time in between, before their flagship stores opened across Europe and Asia, it was surviving national cotton shortages, The Great Depression and bad press for being worn by suspects on WANTED posters. But these days Carhartt has reinvented itself, yet again, this time, hitting the backs and bottoms of extreme bikers and pro-skaters. When you think about it, it really begins to mess with your brain as to how the brand manages to stay on top, consistently. But with over 24 stores worldwide (from Rome to Korea and everywhere in between), adapting with the times can’t be that hard.

Making its way through the decades of trends, Carhartt has meant more than attire that keeps you warm. Sure, they’re a definite staple of clothing as necessity is concerned, and they definitely haven’t lost focus of their mission to provide high quality workwear. But what is workwear anyway, in a time when everyone is hustling, on the move and on grind?

The answer to both questions, how they’ve survived and what is workwear, is quite simple. Simplicity. Carhartt has banked on minimalism appeal, like fitted khakis, smaller camouflage patterns, a dab of color, stone-washed denim and a few collaborations with other designers to cook up a recipe fit for a contemporary brand loved by influencers. They even slipped us a mickey when they added messenger bags and clothing for ladies as well, including varsitys, fitted pants and graphic tees.

The Carhartt brand is giving us plenty to look forward to right now. They have a skateboard and bike team, new accessories including vintage analogue cameras and a worldly view with a twist on workwear. With its first store now open in the United States, Carhartt has a new feel and we kind of like it.

Images courtesy of Carhartt.

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