Carhartt WIP: Blending Durability with Street Style Elegance

Ever wonder how a workwear brand became a street style sensation? Meet Carhartt WIP, a label that redefined work clothes into streetwear, intriguing skateboarders, hip-hop enthusiasts, and style connoisseurs alike.

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Key Takeaways

  • Carhartt WIP transformed from traditional workwear to a streetwear icon with a focus on durability and hip-hop and skater subcultures, starting with its launch in London in 1989.

  • The brand’s product lineup is diverse and fashionable, involving collaborations with high-end fashion houses and maintaining roots in functional, sturdy clothing with a focus on organic and durable materials.

  • Carhartt WIP has remained popular among millennials and Gen Z for its sustainability and authentic design, while also balancing its blue-collar origins with high-fashion appeal, leading to endorsements by various celebrities and influencers.

The Origins of Carhartt WIP

Carhartt WIP store with a display of hoodies and accessories

An intriguing alliance gave birth to Carhartt WIP. A German entrepreneur signed a licensing deal with Carhartt in 1989, transforming the workwear brand into a streetwear powerhouse. The street style offshoot of the traditional Carhartt work clothing was officially launched in London that same year.

This signified the start of a thrilling transition from Detroit factories to London’s street fashion scene, mirroring the brand’s evolution through video.

Embracing Skateboarders and Hip-Hop Culture

Carhartt WIP didn’t merely rise as a streetwear brand but evolved into a cultural emblem. The brand began gaining popularity among skateboarders and the hip-hop community in 1989. The durable hoodies and streetwear clothing, along with accessories, quickly became a staple for these subcultures.

The brand’s allure originated from:

  • Its ties with various subcultures

  • The adoption of their parent label’s workwear by US rappers

  • Solidifying its position as a must-have brand in the pop culture fashion realm.

Carhartt WIP Product Lineup

Carhartt WIP Jacket

The products lineup of Carhartt WIP includes:

  • Thick button-up shirts

  • Pullovers

  • Canvas coats

  • Various accessory items

  • Classic products with modern tweaks and elements

All crafted from organic cotton, corduroy, and cotton to maintain the brand’s durable Detroit roots.

Streetwear-Inspired Collections

Carhartt Pants

Carhartt WIP transcended the simple creation of blue collar work wear. It collaborated with fashion houses like Vetements, A.P.C., and Junya Watanabe, launching collections that showcased the progress of streetwear fashion. Each collection reflects cultural undercurrents, drawing inspiration from:

  • blue collar work

  • modern fashion

  • skateboarding

  • street art

The brand’s diverse collaborations and distinctive designs appeal to both men and women, broadening its reach and attractiveness.

Carhartt WIP’s Impact on Carhartt’s Overall Brand

Young people wearing Carhartt WIP clothing

Carhartt WIP has exerted a transformative influence on the wider Carhartt work brand. By tweaking the original Carhartt work gear to appeal to a European crowd, the brand managed to maintain its roots while embracing sleek design and style. This strategic transformation has significantly boosted Carhartt’s overall sales, showcasing the impact of their streetwear work.

Popularity Among Millennials and Gen Zers

Younger generations also find Carhartt WIP appealing. The brand’s durability and authenticity, which align with millennials’ and Gen Zers’ sustainability and quality preferences, have made it extremely popular among these age groups.

Specifically, the Carhartt beanie pants, and hoodies have emerged as a fashion essential for these age groups, thanks to their style and durability.

Balancing Blue-Collar Roots with High-Fashion Appeal

While Carhartt WIP exudes high-fashion allure, it stays loyal to its blue-collar roots, maintaining a strong connection to the country lifestyle. The brand uses design elements like denim, kangaroo pockets, rib-knit collars, and front zippers to maintain its blue-collar vibe. At the same time, it incorporates high-fashion elements by drawing inspiration from fashion trends and using innovative design patterns. Customers who appreciate these unique features will be delighted to receive Carhartt WIP products that embody both worlds.

This equilibrium has expanded Carhartt WIP’s customer base, taking into account both blue-collar workers and avant-garde fashion enthusiasts, catering to a diverse range of customers in their shop.

Celebrities and Influencers Sporting Carhartt WIP

Celebrities and influencers have further boosted the brand’s popularity and street style authenticity. From politics to Hollywood, Carhartt WIP has found its way into the wardrobes of several high-profile individuals, including:

  • Sarah Palin

  • Mr. Beast

  • Barack Obama

  • Austin Butler

  • Gigi Hadid

  • Kanye West

  • many TikTok and YouTube influencers

Fashion-forward celebrities such as Brooklyn Beckham, Bella Hadid, A$AP Rocky, and Rihanna have particularly embraced the Carhartt wip jacket.


From its origins as a workwear brand to its evolution into a street style sensation, Carhartt WIP has been a trendsetter. Its journey, marked by innovative collaborations, trend-setting designs, and cultural influences, showcases the transformative power of fashion. As Carhartt WIP continues to balance its blue-collar roots with high-fashion appeal, it remains a testament to the dynamism of streetwear fashion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carhartt and WIP the same?

Carhartt and Carhartt WIP are not the same; Carhartt WIP is a division of the American brand Carhartt, providing an adapted and stylized version of classic Carhartt products.

What does the WIP stand for in Carhartt?

WIP stands for “Work In Progress” in Carhartt. Carhartt WIP offers a modern and reimagined take on its classic American heritage.

Why are Carhartt jackets so expensive?

Carhartt jackets are expensive because they are made of durable, high-quality materials like tough duck canvas, which ensures that they last for years.

Why is Carhartt trending?

Carhartt is trending because of the 90s nostalgia for oversized fits, with celebrities like ASAP Rocky and Austin Butler wearing classic Carhartt, causing a 171% increase in searches for the brand.

Is Carhartt considered streetwear?

Yes, Carhartt is considered streetwear, especially in the context of hip-hop, skating, and street culture. Its durable apparel and loose wares have been embraced by skateboarders and the streetwear community.