From The Mackintosh Raincoat to Uniqlo’s Collar Coat

The creation of the Mackintosh raincoat is commonly attributed to the 19th century Scottish chemist and inventor Charles Mackintosh. The most distinctive quality about the coat is its waterproof quality, a vital quality in outerwear for Scotland’s rainy climate). Mackintosh invented it in the 1920s by sandwiching an impermeable layer of liquid rubber between two layers of cotton fabric. The coat itself features a distinctively clean contour with only the top button revealed. 

When Mackintosh’s patent expired in the 20th century, many companies across the world started making their own copy of the Mackintosh. The style took off particularly well among the Japanese consumers, presumably because of the history behind the coat and its exquisite quality. In fact, it was from the Japanese retail conglomerate Uniqlo that I bought my own Mackintosh.

Today, the original store has undergone several changes in ownership, but remains in operation through its flagship store in London. It experienced a strong revival in the 90s, and since then has done various well-received collaborations with other luxury brands such as Gucci. At the moment, it runs a cross-collaboration line with the Japanese label HYKE. Their tumblr can be found here: http://mackintosh-uk.tumblr.com/.

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Mackintoshes are sometimes confused with trench coats such as the one should above. While there are double-breasted, belted Mackintoshes, the defining character of a good Mackintosh is still its minimalist look. Gerald Ford’s one, for instance, takes the Mackintosh a step further by adding a bullet proof vest underneath the outer layer which protected him two assassinations. Today, it is exhibited in the President’s Library. 

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