I still remember walking into the Carhartt WIP flagship store in London wearing a Jeremy Fish shirt in the early 2000s and finding a kinship with the staff. It was like we were part of a club and shared the same visual language. Through Carhartt WIP, I found the likes of Mode 2, Sozyone, and other European-graffiti artists who were hard to come by in the States. The European line for the venerable Michigan brand was, and continues to be, all about combining a world-view of music, art, and skate cultures with a classic workwear aesthetic.
The Carhartt WIP Archives, 428-pages of the history of the “Work In Progress” brand, is solid documentation of underground culture over the last 20 years. Artists like Evan Hecox, Lucy McLauchlan, Mode 2, musicians Jamie xx and Modeselektor, and collaborations with A.P.C. and Patta have placed Carhartt at the center of so many relevant artistic milestones, it reads like pictorial history. Edited by Michel Lebugle and Anna Sinofzik, look no further than the opening spreads of the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy rocking Carhartt coats to understand just how far back this influence goes in streetwear. This book is a proper cultural bible. —EP