From the Westfjords to the North West

From the Westfjords to the North West

Throughout the north of England you can catch elements of influence from Nordic culture. Fun fact: northerners find it easier to learn Scandinavian languages thanks to the slang they've grown up with. It isn't that fun, but I'm writing this on a Monday so we'll make do. You know what is fun, though? Walking up a river.

Though maybe not on the same level, the north can also get freezing cold. That's why when we decided to bomb it the wrong way up a river in mid-November, we kitted ourselves out with some of 66°North's finest down.

The history of 66° began in 1926 when Hans Kristjánsson, an Icelander who lived in the harsh conditions of Vestfirõir (the Westfjords) decided to take action. In Vestfirõir the possession of suitable equipment is less the silly matter of staying warm, and more a matter of life and death. Hans believed that he could create the kind of outerwear which the Icelandic fisherman need, and so after moving to Norway to learn how to sew, to returned to Iceland and began manufacturing oil-borne canvases.

Technologies have improved since the 20s, and now they make award winning jackets which have been taking Scandinavia by storm. After a few company trips to northern Europe we decided we wanted a piece of it. The name 66°North is derived from the latitudinal line of the Arctic Circle which touches Hans' original residence in Súgandafjörõur, and now here we are testing out the Dyngja Down Jackets from the South Lakes. 54°North represent!

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G.H. Bass X Universal Works

G.H. Bass X Universal Works

A new brand to the ranks of Working Class Heroes, we have G.H. Bass, and we're very, very excited. The American heritage footwear company was founded in 1876 and they've made a historic name for themselves, creating quality mocassin shoes from Maine, using top materials and designs for desired looks. This shoe comes from their collaboration with our friends Universal Works, who have introduced a bit of British style to them. In two iconic, classic silhouettes, the shoes are made from a smart looking suede on a Vibram wedge outsole

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Introducing: Superga

Introducing: Superga

New to the Working Class Heroes camp is a brand that we've had our eye on for years, and one with a pretty simple, but pretty important back story. Founded just over a century ago in 1911 in Torino, Italy, under the care and attention of Walter Martiny, Superga was one of the first footwear brands to use vulcanized rubber in the soles for enhanced durability.

Their signature style was, and still is, understated in the silhouette of a classic sporty plimsoll. This minimal appearance has a nice, easy on the eyes look, with some deep deeded hard-wearing endurance.

With a couple pairs of their 2390 Super Suede sneaks, we're well excited to stock Superga. The upper of the shoes is made from, as you've probably guessed, a tough suede material sitting on a signature rubber outsole. It has an expanded PU insole for shock-absorption and it has some subtle elegant branding to the tongue and tread. We road tested them up an Autumnal grassy hill - went well, we reached the top.

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AW18 Launch Party with Belstaff

AW18 Launch Party with Belstaff

For those of you on the web it's easy to forget we aren't just an online presence. Working Class Heroes began as a humble skate and streetwear cave down a thin alleyway in Ulverston. Twelve years later we're based in a lovely white and grey shop on a main cobbled market street. Every now and again it's nice to make a song and dance about how far we've come, so we figured we'd have a party.

We wanted to deck the shop out with some of our top clobber for the AW18 launch featuring such names as Norse Projects, YMC, Folk, some badboy jackets from 66°North, Rains and Champion, but for the spotlight we thought we'd shine it on Belstaff. Kind enough to lend us a couple of golden oldies from their archive, the motorcycle and outerwear heritage label peaked the interest of some of our local biker clubs, though it was less "Sons Of Anarchy" than you might expect - we had our favourite tapas joint make us a spicy stew.

Belstaff are right up there in the upper echelons of the British garment industry, known for producing exceptionally well-made jackets with the wearer's specific needs in mind, and they're pretty synonymous with the word "classy" - one of those proper James Bond staples. Working Class are on a similar level if we do say so ourselves - we hauled one of our large plastic dispatch tubs to the shop and filled it to the brim with beers and ice at 3pm and got through more bottles of rum than we care to mention.

Massive thanks to Belstaff for the insane jackets in our window, the guys at Furness British Bike Club and all of you who turned up and smashed through the booze. Here's to AW18!

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