Oi Polloi

The Rains Oi Polloi Coach Jacket

Published: Fri Apr 08 2016

We recently worked with the Danish rainwear supremos at Rains to make a super-fancy water-resistant coach jacket. It's got a detachable hood, it's got press studs down the front and it'll be available online at 10:00 (BST) on Thursday the 14th of April.

But how did this meeting of minds come about? And why the coach jacket? Oi Polloi main-man Steve Sanderson answered all these questions and more...

Photos by Michael Mayren.

Maybe a bit of a dull question... but how did this jacket come about?

We were talking with the guys at Rains, and we ended up having a conversation about what we’d make if we could do a jacket with them — I said that I’d never really seen this kind of waterproof material used on a coach jacket.

So the initial idea was to do a coach jacket, but they don’t usually have hoods. And with Rains being called Rains, they like to have a hood attached to everything. So I just said, “Well, that’s easy enough... we’ll just do a detachable hood.”

Both you and Nigel grew up on the outskirts of Manchester, and Rains are from Copenhagen. How come you decided to make such a classic American item?

There was always a fascination with American sportswear. Off the back of Russell Athletic and Champion, these kinds of things were knocking about. In the 80s it was more about baseball jackets with the leather sleeves — the coach jacket came a bit later — in the late 80s and early 90s. They were more utility, more work-wear.

Yeah, it’s almost like police-wear or something.

They’re simple and stripped back. They go with loads of stuff — they don’t look as American as some of the more college-type jackets. 

I imagine getting a jacket made from scratch is pretty tough. How easy was it to get made?

It was a pretty simple process really. We didn’t want to start making things outside of what Rains usually do, so we used all the components that they normally use and then just changed the shape.

We ended up using some of my old jackets for guidance on the design of the jacket. It’s actually based on bits and pieces of other jackets that I already had, and then made out of that rubber material.

That waterproof stuff that Rains make their jackets out of is pretty special. What else would you want to make out of it?

Underpants... haha... no. It’d be really good for accessories but for jackets in particular it’s great.

We’ve sold that kind of rubberised waterproof jacket for years. It’s a really old-school, simple way of making a waterproof jacket. But we’ve never seen any like this; I’m surprised other people haven’t done it before.

It’s not a million miles off that nylon fabric coach jackets are made of anyway.

It’s not a million miles off that at all. To me it’s a really short step, but no one seems to have done it. Sometimes the most obvious things are the things that get missed — people don’t connect the dots and make the jump.

The Rains Oi Polloi Coach Jacket goes online at 10:00 (BST) on Thursday the 14th of April. See it here.