BELSTAFF LAUNCHES NEW “LONG WAY UP” COLLECTION
Since 1924, Belstaff has been outfitting frontiersman – from motorcycle legends and sporting icons to movie stars and revolutionaries. Today, the luxury english outerwear brand has launched a fresh collection celebrating an almost twenty-year partnership with the Long Way. If you do not remember, allow me to remind you. Beginning in 2004 Belstaff provided clothing to Scottish actor and Ewan McGregor and English TV presenter, travel writer and actor Charley Boorman as they undertook their first grand trip on their “Long Way Round” adventure.
If you don’t know much about the brand Belstaff, allow me to fill you in on what have learned over the years. In short, Belstaff is made for the modern adventurer. For close to a century, it has been making clothes for those who want their clothes to work for them. In my humble opinion I would say that the clothing is not for spectators. This is the real deal and the clothing has a real purpose aside from just covering the body. In addition to being rugged cloth, it also gives off an air of sex-appeal. Similar to a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Belstaff jacket begs to be broken in and set out for adventure.
The brand’s great history is rooted in the north of England. In the past, daring men such as aviator Amy Johnson to adventurer T.E. Lawrence and revolutionary Che Guevara all wore these jackets that they put to good use. In fact, the jacket styles they wore then are still made by Belstaff today for consumers to experience.
Technically advanced, beautifully crafted British design and know-how lies at the heart of Belstaff. The product offerings range from robust, high-performance wear to perfectly crafted pieces for everyday. As a renowned fashion journalist, my aim to guide my viewers to new menswear product each season. However, when speaking about Belstaff, I can assure you that a the jackets gets better with experiencing some guts and glory.
I recently had the privilege to ask Actor Ewan McGregor about how Belstaff visited he and travel writer and actor Charley Boorman at the Long Way Up office in Central London and showed the archive from the latest collection for inspiration, why he believes it means a lot to be backed by a British brand that’s got real history and how in Southern Argentina they rode through freezing snow and bitter temperatures but layer up with the Belstaff down jacket kept them warm!
Joseph DeAcetis: How was the design process with Belstaff? Did you enjoy creating your moto pieces?
Ewan McGregor: Belstaff visited us at the Long Way Up office in Central London – they showed me the archive and some pieces from the latest collection for inspiration.
Then I visited the Belstaff store, where I had a look at some more archive pieces and tried some of their jackets on. With all of this inspiration, I took elements from my favorites – a pair of 70s leather trousers with stretch panels, and a vintage Trial-master made for a US motorcycle team. I wanted the jacket to be blue – that’s always been my color on the Long Way. They used a heavy waxed cotton from Halley Stevensons, a mill in Scotland that’s just a stone’s throw from my hometown. I also asked for the lining to be McGregor tartan – it’s nice to take a bit of home with you wherever you go.
Joseph DeAcetis: There is a long-standing history with Belstaff. What does it mean to you to be kitted out by Belstaff on your Long Way adventures?
Ewan McGregor: I’ve been wearing Belstaff on the Long Way since our first trip in 2004. It means a lot to be backed by a British brand that’s got real history, a brand who have outfitted so many adventurers in the past. It adds a certain weight to the endeavor to know you’re following in a great tradition of adventure.
Joseph DeAcetis: What were your favorite pieces of Belstaff kit this time around?
Ewan McGregor: The on-bike kit is special, but I’m also a fan of the Montana jacket it’s got that easy charm about it, it’s understated but it makes an impression. It’s great for time spent off the bike.
Joseph DeAcetis: What are some of the toughest things you put the kit through?
Ewan McGregor: We’ve been through a lot on the road together, but this time it was the cold. In Southern Argentina we rode through snow and bitter temperatures and being able to layer up with the down jacket really helped us out.
ABOUT LONG WAY UP
Starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, “Long Way Up” reunites the best friends after more than a decade since their last motorbike adventure around the world. Covering 13,000 miles over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries, Ewan and Charley journey through the glorious and underexposed landscapes of South and Central America using cutting-edge technology in order to do their fair share for the sustainability of the planet.
Belstaff worked with McGregor and Boorman to co-design the moto pieces worn throughout the journey. After exploring the brand’s nearly 100-year archive they co-created a collection that reflects style and is up to the task of a 13,000-mile journey through South America.
The collection includes a classic leather biker silhouette in the Montana Jacket, lined in the McGregor family tartan. Additional outerwear styles include the cotton four-pocket Long Way Up Field Jacket and Blouson, both with quilted shoulder detailing and McGregor family tartan lining. A versatile, packable down jacket, a range of cotton sweats and t-shirts, caps and a neck warmer complete the off-bike offering.
On bike, Ewan worked with Belstaff to co-design the McGregor Pro Jacket, a take on the brand’s iconic four pocket design. The jacket features hardwearing and weather-resistant 12oz wax cotton fabric from Scottish mill Halley Stevenson with McGregor tartan lining. Fully waterproof with sealed seams and a breathable membrane, this jacket will ensure you’re comfortable while the elements are kept at bay. D3O vented at the elbow and shoulder provides peace of mind on the road and true motorcycle credentials.
Made for the road and worn during the adventure by Charley, the Gore-Tex equipped Long Way Up Jacket and Trousers are packed with rider-specific technical details. Made from Gore-Tex Pro guaranteed to keep you dry, both pieces also feature Super-fabric at the shoulders, elbows and knees for extra protection.The jacket and trousers also feature D3O armored protection. Weatherproofing the riding suit was essential. As well as being fully waterproof, the suit is adaptable with a ventilation system that kept Charley cool when needed. This proves the how the advancements to textile technology have come to fruition.