Part-designer, part-archivist, Nigel Cabourn is truly someone whose passion for the rich heritage of menswear knows scant equals. Cabourn has remained a major player in the fashion industry since the early 1970s. Despite an ongoing presence for almost 50 years, the British vintage clothing expert still operates mostly under the radar.
Nigel Cabourn dropped out of fashion school to establish Cricket Clothing Ltd, his first label, incorporating influences from popular brands like The Who into his designs. A chance encounter with a young Paul Smith changed the course of Cabourn's career; Smith gave the burgeoning designer a vintage pilot's jacket, shifting Cabourn's focus from trend-conscious goods to vintage re-production. Smith began selling Cabourn's new items in-store, creating a new audience for the vintage-influenced wares.
Cabourn doesn’t necessarily class himself as a ‘fashion designer’. He doesn’t follow fashion. Everything he designs comes from either a moment in history, an inspirational person or a vintage garment.
For over 35 years, he has been collecting vintage military, sports, expedition and workwear clothing from across the globe. Taking true inspiration from the fabric and detailing in these functional, comfortable and durable garments.
Starting off with a sure staple with a fine example of the Nigel Cabourn spin, is the Nigel Cabourn Mechanics Cap.
This beautiful piece has been crafted from a herringbone twill, in a classic navy blue colouring.
First used for the convenience of the flight crew in the United States Air Force during WW2 as well as other parts of the Air Force due to their practical nature of keeping the sun out of the mechanics eyes. This classic form factor has been reinvented into a 6 panel every day hard wearing cap.
The Nigel Cabourn Arrow Sweatpants in Navy Blue are part of the Lybro collection that takes inspiration from archive sweaters from the 1970’s.
A clear classic item, and it’s a classic for a reason. These loose fitting jogging pants are made with full flat-lock stitching construction, giving them extra strength at the seams, which were originally designed for use during contact sports.
The Mountain Smock Jacket in the Stone colourway is a classic oversized anorak with military details throughout. Featuring waist and hood adjuster cords, large chest and hand pockets with button closures.
This piece has enough adjusters to ensure the ideal fit that will get you through the worst weather conditions.
The Arrow Hooded Sweatshirt in Army Green is a great example of a staple design that has been given a new lease of life and taken into the contemporary space.
This loose fitting hoodie is made with full flat-lock stitch construction, and utlises a unique pigment dyeing process, with a front kangaroo pocket and finished off with the embroidered broad arrow branding, that has become synonymous with Nigel Cabourn designs.
At the end of the day, Cabourn aims with each collection and collaboration to create timeless styles that have the quality to last, get better with age and wear and that are still relevant in years to come. Clothing that people can wear for a lifetime then pass down to their children.
This aspiration and mission for longevity in our clothing is something that we can definitely get behind.