Founded in 1924, Belstaff is one of the oldest and most prestigious brands to come out of the U.K. Famous for being the first brand to use waxed cotton for waterproof motorcycle jackets. Belstaff also boasts a famous clientele list that included the likes of Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig and Ian Wright.
History of Belstaff
Although Belstaff was formed in 1924, their story starts in 1907 at the inaugural Isle Of Man TT race. Motor enthusiasts travel from all over the U.K every year to watch 25 competitors race the stretch of the island, however, less than half would finish the course. This was partly down to the clothing which was pointed out by that year's runner-up Jack Marshall. He explained that “In an attempt to damp down the dust, officials sprayed the course with an acid solution. The acid got on our clothes, and in a couple of days, it looked as if the rats had been at our jackets.” This would become a pivotal point in Belstaff’s history.
In 1909 a man Named Eli Belovitch opens up a shop dealing in reclaimed fabrics and rubber goods. He would go on to expand his factory dramatically during WW1 to supply capes, tents and groundsheets to the military.
By 1920 racing had resumed in Britain and was gaining popularity year by year. In 1922 the first Welsh TT is held on Pendine Sands which attracts over 40,000 spectators. Using his expertise gained during both the war and his time racing, in 1924 Eli joins forces with his son-in-law Harry Grosberg to form Bellstaff Brand. The extra ‘l’ featured until the 1930s. To keep Belstaff ahead of the competition Grosberg travelled across Europe, Africa and Asia in search of new fabrics and techniques. Belstaff was the first company in the world to use Egyptian waxed
cotton to manufacture 'breathable' yet waterproof clothing.
During the following 30 years, Belstaff would go on to set up, then close, shop due to their products being distributed by retailers all over Britain. They went back to their military roots during WW2 to once again supply the troops with the most cutting-edge technology, whilst also dressing the rich and famous from both the U.K and across the pond.
Belstaff has been worn by the biggest stars in the motorcycle world as well as Che Guevara, Steve Mcqueen and even Naomi Campbell. It will always be known as the original British Motorcycle brand.
Products from Belstaff
Without a doubt, Belstaffs most iconic piece is their Trailmaster Jacket. Designed in 1948, it has withstood the test of time to remain the most popular of their wide array of jackets. The jacket is durable, comfortable and gives freedom of movement even though it is a snug fit. However, Belstaff has designed all its jackets with this same ethos so there is a huge selection to choose from including leather renditions in more than just black. One of our favourites is the Roadmaster. A modern take on the Belstaff jackets of old, it would look just as fitting on the streets of London as it would on the back of a motorcycle.