To the detriment of popular belief, it is thought that the journey of the iconic duffle overcoat did not start in the UK. Admittedly still a dubious fact, it is named after the Flanders clothmaking town of Duffle, where a coarse, thick, waterproof black woollen fabric was once used to make protective clothing. Considering its geographical origins on the south side of the English Channel, it goes some way to explaining why notable tastemakers from the south side of la Manche held similar predilections towards the duffle coat, which partially abstains from its utilitarian nature. French actress, Brigitte Bardot turned the military surplus garment into post-war chic, whilst fellow French native Jean Cocteau wore the coat in such a way that reflected a certain casual Parisian intellectual bourgeoisie. Arm in arm with Coco Chanel and Miss Weiseveiller in Rome, 1958, the white duffle coat Cocteau wore is a paragon of its chic nature if designed with the right attributes. Fluctuating in popularity ever since, Alexander Kraft has entered the fray by stamping his own impassioned mark on the model to reiterate its perpetually chic credentials.
Adopted by the British Navy in the late 1800s and later made famous by Field Marshal Montgomery (Viscount Montgomery of Alamein), it was used to withstand the harsh elements on the sea. To this day not only is its heavy, scratchy cloth still prevalent in the duffle coat market, but finding one with a flattering silhouette is scarce. As is custom with Alexander Kraft he has brought his own finesse to a classic garment. Cut slimmer and shorter than standard models, the contemporary duffle coat style has also had its hood eliminated for the sake of elegance. Additional luxuries include the incorporation of toggles made of real horn, and the fasteners of the finest caramel leather. Mr Kraft’s female followers will be glad to hear that this design is not limited to the gentleman, having been adapted suit the ladies’ body type. However, both coats are made from the finest undyed, natural camel hair with a subtle herringbone design and are unlined for ease of wear in both the country and urban environments.