Belstaf, founded in 1924, historically catered to British aristocrats flying planes and riding motorcycles for leisure. But how do you take a 90-year old company and make it relevant in today’s culture and lifestyle? Martin Cooper, Belstaf’s Chief Creative Officer, believed the relevancy of the brand relies on the foundation of the past. Since his joining the Belstaf team last year, Cooper has taken that vision and transformed Belstaf into a modern luxury brand.
For decades Belstaf has been known for creating motorcycle-ready jackets from cavallo horse leather, a very sturdy, protective material, worn as a necessity on the very dangerous road. All walks of life and historical icons have worn Belstaf including Amelia Earhart, Steve McQueen and Che Guevara. Now another icon is the face for a Belstaf campaign, one that he actually pitched himself. Ewan McGregor pursued the brand partnership, versus the brand pursuing him, with an email titled, “Born to Ride.”
Besides acquiring one of UK’s most prominent actors as a spokesperson, Cooper is further repositioning Belstaf to the luxury fashion world by broadening its offerings. The new line includes shirts, pants, dresses in addition to jackets redesigned to romanticize the past and history that Belstaf created and was an integral part of.
As you may have guessed, this isn’t Cooper’s first rodeo, he know has a successful track record of repositioning traditional brands to become relevant today. Cooper previously transformed British heritage brand, Burberry where he served as the Vice President of Design.
.We have a lot to look forward to this fall, leather jackets and beyond.