In 1965 the founder of Henri-Lloyd, Henri Strzelecki designed the legendary Consort Jacket, a product that was to become the brand’s icon. Over five decades later the jacket lives on and to celebrate the return of Henri-Lloyd back into the market we are launching over the next 6 weeks, 6 Limited Edition jackets based upon contemporary interpretations of the Consort concept.
Some things we’d like you to know about the Consort: When Henri Strzelecki created the template for all modern foul weather gear, by engineering garments from waterproof Bri-Nylon and then hand-taping the seams. He focussed on what was then considered to be light flexible waterproof shell jackets that protected sailors and mountaineers from the harshest elements known to man. Then in response to a growing reputation for creating products of the highest quality, he designed the Consort, a jacket that had all of its performance integrity but one that could also be worn in colder conditions in everyday life. We hope you love these as much as we do. It was this jacket that was picked by the legendary pioneer Sir Francis Chichester when he became the first person to sail single-handedly around the world by the clipper route in 1966-67. Sir Francis famously chose the Consort jacket in rifle green, notoriously an unlucky colour for sailing, due to it being hard to spot against the colour of the sea. Ever concerned about the safety of his customers he was challenged by Henri about his choice of colour, a typically pragmatic Chichester responded: “Well, who would be there to see me if I did fall in?” Later it was worn by another pioneer of global solo-circumnavigation Sir Robin Knox-Johnston when in 1969 he became the first person to sail non-stop single handled around the world.
Then the story of the Consort takes an unpredictable twist and the future of the Henri-Lloyd brand was to change forever. This twist in fate was to happen when the iconic Italian sub-culture known as the Paninari (this literally means sandwich eaters after their love of gathering around Milan’s eating houses) were famous for their ‘sporty neoliberalist Americana’ look. The Paninari are revered for their embrace of international brands such as Levi Strauss & Co., Timberland LLC, Moncler, Best Company and of course, Henri-Lloyd. The Paninari’s incorporation of the Consort jacket to their brand specific ‘uniform’, catapulted Henri-Lloyd into mainstream consciousness, and cemented the brand as part of the global elite. The Consort jacket is quintessentially Henri-Lloyd, encompassing all the features you’d expect from the brand. The inception of Henri-Lloyd saw the introduction of innovative technologies such as the use of Bri Nylon, non-corrosive zips, and hand-taped seams that reinforce the traditional ‘weak points’ of a garment, thus creating the integrity and quality that the Henri-Lloyd brand is known for worldwide.