While Henri Lloyd jackets were originally intended to be worn out-at-sea (Sir Francis Chichester chose to wear them on his pioneering voyage around the world in 1966) their stand-out design meant they were appropriated as something simply to be worn out-and-about. Almost twenty years after the original release, dapper Milanese youths associated with the Paninaro scene adopted the jackets. They’d pair them with Levi 501’s, Best Company Sweatshirts and Timberland deck shoes, in a European take on the preppy look seen sported by American college students.
While it was the Italian Paninari of the 1980’s who transplanted the jackets into a style context, it wasn’t long before the name Henri Lloyd started to make waves in the UK. The early 1990s saw style-conscious lads getting back into functional clothing. One of those lads was Nigel Lawson, co-founder of Oi Polloi. Nigel explains:
“I first spotted bits of Henri Lloyd on a trip to London in 1989… a couple of brands made a big impression on that trip, Ralph Lauren being one of them, but to be honest the gear that really caught my eye had a European twist, the best example being the Henri Lloyd stuff”
“The whole thing just looked great – top design detailing and colour-ways, but being designed for sailing they were really high-spec and waterproof – a plus in our part of the world”
A short time later, Nigel opened a small shop in Manchester’s Afflecks Palace. The first brand he sought to stock was Henri Lloyd – and was pleased to find they were based locally.
Since setting up Oi Polloi with Steve Sanderson in 2002, Nigel has been keen to work with Henri Lloyd again…
Nigel on how the Henri Lloyd collaboration came about…
“We’d see Henri’s sons at the Airport when we went abroad for trade shows and we’d ask about getting some of the older stuff remade. Finally, we’ve brought it together”
The Viking is a sturdy overhead smock, made from 21st century “Bri-Nylon” and is available in four colours – yellow, orange, white and royal blue. It comes fully waterproof with elasticated cuffs, taped seams and a chunky Ri-Ri zip.
The Consort RWR jacket is the work of legendary Italian designer Olmes Carretti – best known for his imaginative use of colours and contrasts. The shape of the jacket takes inspiration from traditional outerwear you’d be more likely to see in the countryside and yet still has strong overtones of it’s nautical heritage. It’s made from the same Bri-Nylon outer fabric evident in the Viking, yet the addition of a cord collar brings about an air of formality. The Round the World jacket is available in navy, sky and lavender.
The Bry-Nylon fabric used across both jackets is a nice contrast to the more traditional fabrics like wax cotton which have become popular in outerwear design recently. In terms of fit the re-issued jackets are cut to a slimmer, more tailored silhouette when compared with the original jackets.
Martin Strzelecki, Joint CEO and son of the founder of Henri Lloyd, Henri Strzelecki, states:
“The Consort and Viking Smocks are original designs created by my father in the 1960’s – the result of his passion to create new and innovative products… we feel it’s the right moment to reintroduce them… with people who understand our brand and respect the product.”