The Baracuta jacket became a wardrobe staple when Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) was seen circling weightlessly in a yellow glider in the 1968 film, The Thomas Crown Affair. Soundtracked by Michel Legrand’s “The Windmills of Your Mind,” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the scene follows Crown as he lands the glider casually onto a golf course before hopping out in a classic, navy Baracuta G9 jacket.

The design was developed in 1937, when the company’s founders and brothers, John and Isaac Miller, were primarily producing raincoats for brands like Burberry and Aquascutum from their cotton fields in Manchester. The following year, they approached Lord Lovat, the 24th Chieftain of Clan Fraser, for his permission to use the Fraser tartan design, which still lines the G9, and gives it it’s signature touch of Scottish nobility. Golfing legend Arnold Palmer, and celebrities like Gregory Peck, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra were all photographed wearing the jacket in the late 60s – it’s short waterproof material and easy zip making it the perfectly dynamic jacket for sporting in style.

By the 1980s, youth subcultures would revive the G9 for it’s nostalgic value. Punks and skinheads would often be seen donning the look with tight jeans and shaved heads. In 1981, The Clash would stage a 7-night stand at Bond’s nightclub in Times Square, New York, wearing personalized G9 jackets. The series of concerts caused riots for having oversold tickets, meaning crowds of people were denied entry to the gig. This intervention of the jacket from a golfer’s status symbol (or Hollywood statement piece) to something more culturally significant is what makes Baracuta as dynamic and wearable as it is today.

This year, Baracuta collaborated with Engineered Garments to produce versions of the G9 with new materials including sherpa, a textile similar to Astrakhan fur, as well as canvas, twill, ripstop and corduroy, introducing the jacket and it’s rich history to a whole new subset of streetwear enthusiasts. It's a jacket capable of taking on it's owner's story, which is what makes it such a loaded staple in anyone's closet. Perhaps it’s flexibility as a cultural symbol is best summarized in the film when Thomas Crown jumps out of the glider and his Swiss lover Gwen asks, “What do you have to worry about?” to which he replies, “Who I wanna be tomorrow.”

 

Explore the selection of Baracuta x Engineered Garments at One Block Down online and in-store.