Long before Patagonia, The North Face and Canada Goose, there was Woolrich. History has it that the Pennsylvania-based outdoor lifestyle brand provided wool blankets to soldiers in the Civil War. But perhaps more significantly, over the course of 180 years, the company went on to create some of the most iconic outerwear pieces in the 20th century, including buffalo plaid wool shirts, cotton flannel shirts, railroad conductor utility vests and field jackets, proving not only its ability to produce durable, outdoor gear but also innovate, over time, both from a performance point of view and style.
Today Woolrich continues to produce classic, everyday lifestyle products yet also offer some of the most innovative and stylish outerwear amongst its peers through its Woolrich John Rich & Bros and Woolrich Woolen Mills labels, still unbeknownst to many due to limited distribution to Europe and Asia.
As of this October, however, everyone can finally access the slick military, outdoor and utilitarian-inspired designs of Woolrich John Rich & Bros and Woolrich Woolen Mills stateside at the new flagship in downtown Manhattan. Located at 125 Wooster Street, the two-level flagship is the company’s first in the US, with subsequent openings planned for Aspen, Boston, Chicago, Hamburg and Tokyo.
Designed as a contemporary retrospective of the company’s 184-year-old history, the new flagship features vintage items from the original woolen mill including wool production tools, swatch cards, catalogs and various garments from the Woolrich archive. The ground level, featuring antique windows and furniture reclaimed from an old hardware store, showcases the entire breadth of Woolrich John Rich & Bros as well as blankets, backpacks and sportswear under the cultish Mark McNairy-designed Woolrich Woolen Mills label. Meanwhile, a 500-sq.-foot basement, modeled after a gentlemen’s lounge, houses the company’s bestselling classic and modern fit Arctic parkas. There’s a lot to impress even the most dedicated fan of McNairy overall, but let it be said that if you’re already fretting about the next Polar Vortex, you’ll want to consider nothing else besides these parkas. Streamlined and ultra warm, they’re the ultimate winter jacket and at least for now there’s one in every color.
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