Carhartt Work in Progress

Image of The Carhartt WIP Archives
Release Date: 
October 3, 2016
Reviewed by: 

Unlike its kissing cousin, LEVIS, the name Carhartt is not as ubiquitous, but as the title states it is a work in progress. While both brands began as resource for work wear, one evolved and one slowly faded into the background only to be rebranded decades later.

Carhartt WIP Archives is most definitely not a book that can be classified as a coffee table/picture book that can be leafed through solely for its visuals. This is most definitely book that might be considered a chronicle or a timeline that details the reemergence of a heritage brand. You must read it to appreciate it.

What is most interesting about this volume is that it comes at a time when so many heritage fashion brands have been or are being reimagined and reinvigorated, Carhartt among them. The authors offer a thorough, if not exhaustive, accounting of how and why this brand has been resuscitated.

The reader must be prepared for a slight language barrier as the authors are not from the USA and therefore the language is a bit convoluted at times. If the reader has an interest in street wear, hip hop life, contemporary music, and the birth of trends, then this book jumps right to the top of the list; in other words this is not a book that can classified as universally appealing to anyone who loves fashion as a hobby. This is serious reading as well as being a highly specific treatise on rebranding.

Without a doubt, this not a book that one can classify a fashion fluff and it is even possible to say that the book unwittingly tiptoes around a societal shift in terms of what constitutes fashion and what is acceptable as fashion.