Founded in Staffordshire in 1924 with a line of waterproof jackets, Belstaff became the first ever company to use a waxed cotton which created a waterproof yet breathable fabric. This technical focus continued and the brand moved on to make jackets for those in need of hard-wearing materials. This included aviators, soldiers and in particular bikers. Over the years, the Belstaff biker jacket has become synonymous with the brand with items such as the Trialmaster and L500 versions now seen as collector’s items.
Although the brand was known for its technical expertise, Belstaff started to fall in popularity in the early 90’s alongside the decline of the textile industry in the UK at that time. However, the vision of Italian creative designer Frances Malenotti, taken on in 1996 helped pull the company from the brink. With Malenotti at the helm, the first ever Belstaff bag and Shoe’ division was created, Belstaff bags took off across European markets and quickly became a resounding success helping to bring the Belstaff name back to the fore.
At the same time a Hollywood love affair was about to be born as Belstaff’s profile was now on the rise in America and this adoration for the brand still continues today. In particular the film studios have taken Belstaff to their heart with the brand being requested for an awe-inducing list of films including; ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ and ‘The Aviator’ with Leonardo Dicaprio. The Belstaff bag worn by Will Smith in ‘I am Legend’ became incredibly popular with both celebrities and the public.
The brand has also garnered a strong celebrity fan base with actors such as Brad Pitt and George Clooney and model Kate Moss seen out the label. Now recognised as a British Heritage brand, Belstaff has once more risen to the top and intends to stay there, with Hollywood by their side.