Mackintosh Brand Story

ABOUT

Since 1824 Mackintosh has been one of the world’s most influential coat makers. The DNA of the brand surrounds its craftsmanship, unequalled expertise in the manipulation of rubberized fabric and the constant evolution of its designs. The brand has become synonymous with its outerwear products, but also with the introduction of new collections, including the Mackintosh Mainline and collaborations with some of the world’s leading fashion houses.

Explore the images to discover Mackintosh’s history

CHARLES MACINTOSH (1766-1843)

The Mackintosh story began at the dawn of the industrial revolution in the early 19th Century when Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh invented a new method of waterproofing cotton.

THE MACKINTOSH COAT

Charles Macintosh’s discovery soon led to development of rubberised outerwear and the Mackintosh coat was born.

Due to the waterproof benefits the Mackintosh coat or “Mac” soon became an international success. The first type of fabric to ever exist with this completely waterproofing technology which came to revolutionise both fabric technology and design.

BRITISH ARMY TRENCH COAT

Rubberised trench coat made for the British Army in 1945. During World War I and World War II, a messenger would carry maps or document of strategy in the chest pocket and deliver them by motorbike.

BRITISH RAILWAY COAT

Rubberised coat supplied for British Railways from the 1920s until the 1980s. Mainly worn by those who would carry out security checks.

MAKING A MACKINTOSH

Mackintosh’s signature rubberised coats continue to be made by skilled craftsmen in our factory outside Glasgow, Scotland in the same tradition pioneered in the early 19th century.

The core material in a classic Mackintosh coat is the bonded cotton fabric - two layers of cotton bonded together with rubber that is dyed to perfectly match the outer cotton layers so there is no show-through.

Once the bonded cotton arrives at the Mackintosh factory the patterns are laid out and marked up.

Once the pieces of a coat have been cut into the correct patterns, they are sewn, united and sealed using a special type of glue that is applied by finger.

This is an intricate technique that is learnt and mastered over many years. As well as ensuring that the seams of each coat are waterproof, this technique also makes it easier to join both curved edges and corners.

Once the pieces are glued together a water-resistant tape is attached by hand and then pressed over any exposed seams to make sure there is no water intrusion. This elaborate production process results in a very limited number of garments being produced each year making sure the quality is of the highest standard.

It is due to these traditional techniques still being used to this day and an unsurpassed dedication to craftsmanship which has resulted in the Mackintosh products seen today.

COLLABORATIONS

Mackintosh’s unrivalled expertise with rubberised fabric has given rise to several collaborative works with some of the world’s leading fashion houses such as Céline, Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, Vetements and Louis Vuitton.

BAND OF OUTSIDERS (AW 14)

For AW14 and SS15 Mackintosh worked alongside LA’s Band of Outsiders. A selection of reserved classic silhouettes were reworked with a playful approach injecting bold streaks of colour and dégradé patterns.

HYKE (AW 16)

Mackintosh had a longstanding collaboration with Japanese label Hyke developing a series of exclusive capsule collections between AW13 until AW16. Each season used the signature bonded cotton Mackintosh coat as a blueprint but took on the concept of ‘Heritage’ and ‘Evolution’ resulting in a series of truly forward thinking collections.

MAISON MICHEL (SS 17)

For SS17 Mackintosh collaborated with Maison Michel on a limited collection of head wear. The French milliner used Mackintosh’s iconic bonded cotton as a base whilst reinventing some classic rain-hat silhouettes and giving them a youthful attitude.

VETEMENTS (SS 17)

The collaboration between Mackintosh and VETEMENTS began in 2016. Demna Gvasalia, evolved well-loved Mackintosh classics, applying his skill for elevating familiar designs to create new levels of contemporary relevance. Rather than thinking about old and new, Gvasalia worked instinctively with Mackintosh updating iconic shapes in an exaggerated ‘VETEMENTS’ way.

PORTER

Mackintosh have a longstanding collaboration with Japanese luggage and accessories specialist Porter. Each season some of Porter's most iconic shapes such as the backpack, helmet bag and day pack has been given a seasonal updates sometimes using Mackintosh's iconic bonded cotton.

LE KILT (AW 17)

For FW17 Mackintosh collaborated with Scottish label Le Kilt to create an innovative womenswear capsule collection. The collection featured a selection of bonded cotton coats, dresses and skirts that combines Mackintosh’s long tradition of craftsmanship with Samantha McCoach’s feminine vision.

ALYX (SS 18)

The collaboration with cult label ALYX began in SS18. The collection includes classic hooded and tailored coats, dry bags and mini rollercoaster belts - all produced in our iconic bonded cotton. A striking washed fabric in black and navy, along with a treated tan, gives an added texture and uniqueness to the traditional silhouettes.

MAISON MARGIELA (SS 18)

Driven by a constant focus on authenticity and the desire to showcase a unique savoir-faire, Maison Margiela collaborated with Mackintosh to create two limited edition designs for SS18. The two numbered limited edition coats connect perfectly with the spirit of the Maison Margiela SS18 Menswear collection, in which authentic garments were reconstructed through the lens of the Maison’s codes to create a sense of unconscious glamour.

MAISON MARGIELA (SS 18)

Maison Margiela also collaborated with Mackintosh for their SS18 women’s collection. Introduced during the Maison Margiela “Défilé” runway, the classic Mackintosh trench coat was re-constructed and adapted in two colors inspired by Maison Margiela’s ‘Artisanal’ heritage.

MACKINTOSH TODAY

Today Mackintosh is a firmly established luxury name that combines updated technology with traditional techniques, heritage and craftsmanship.