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The History Of Belstaff

Belstaff caters to those who want to push every day to its limit. With almost a century of expertise under its belt, the London-based label has established a dedicated and loyal following, renowned for its rugged yet dapper collections that are rooted in the worlds of motorsports, aviation and the Navy. Founded in 1924 by Eli Belovitch and his son-in-law Harry Grosberg in Staffordshire, Belstaff began by producing all-weather jackets for motorcyclists. The name ‘Belstaff’ was derived from a combination of Eli’s surname and his (Staff)ordshire home. The company later created weather-protective jackets for other uses, goggles (primarily for the growing aviation market), gloves and several other garments intended to keep the wearer warm & dry before introducing the iconic phoenix logo in 1969.

Founded in 1924 by Eli Belovitch and his son-in-law Harry Grosberg in Staffordshire, Belstaff began by producing all-weather jackets for motorcyclists. The name ‘Belstaff’ was derived from a combination of Eli’s surname and his (Staff)ordshire home. The pairs first venture was to produce a collection of men & women's waterproof jacket - utilising Eli's experience within fabric development and weatherproofing.

Eli and Harry's innovative attitude to development and design quickly puts Belstaff on the map as the officially the first company in the world with waterproof apparel crafted from wax cotton. Harrys dedication to unprecedented innovation lead him all across Europe and Asia in search of new fabrication and textiles for his brnad. By 1927 the pair had opened an Army & Navy workwear based store in Staffordshire to showcase their own Belstaff line and trademarked 'The Belstaff Brand'.



Belstaff’s journey continued to focus on ‘the people’ & the pair began offering bespoke and durable clothing for aviators and race car drivers. It quickly caught the eye of big name adventures like T.E Lawrence and pioneering aviators of the time sich as Amelia Earhart. These innovative and stylish designs being sported by British aristocracy enhanced the brand image and got the logo awareness in front of the masses. The new found approval gained via these high profile names put even more pressure and importance on superlative levels of quality in order to retain their status.




Through the mid 30s the growing success of the Belstaff manufacturing business turned the pairs attention away from their Army & Navy store to focus on perfecting their own craft. They began taking consignments from retailers around Great Britain to sell Belstaff around the country. In 1939 Eli retired residing control to Harry and his wife Esther who helped push a new womenswear market focus throughout the 1940s, outfitting female icons such as Gracie Fields - Dame Commander of the British Empire. 

The Belstaff Trialmaster

1948 birthed potentially the most iconic jacket from Belstaff to date - The Trialmaster. The jacket was designed for and took its name from the Scottish Six Days Trial, a motorbike event across the scottish highlands facing the most enduring weather conditions known in the UK. This quintessentially British jacket showcased the technical functionality and innovation Belstaff had to offer, with the jacket featuring pivotal armholes for enhanced rotation, pre-curved sleeves for an improved fit and weatherproof lining. The jacket is synonymous with Belstaff to this day - showcasing the longevity of the labels designs.

The Trialmaster
Belstaff - Craftsmanhip
Iconic Craftsmanhip

Other iconic Belstaff models such as the Racemaster, Roadmaster and Outlaw, have all stood the test of time remaining the rugged, yet elegant, within it’s transition into a premium quality, luxurious, label that has since become the brand of choice for Hollywood movie stars - with the majority of these models produced in Italy. These classic waxed Belstaff jackets are constructed by weaving 2-ply cotton yarn with a strong canvas fabric that has been treated by a combination of micro and technical waxes. This sturdy wax treatment provides a highly effective wind and water barrier, but it requires specific care methods if you want to avoid causing any premature damage to your jacket, such as going over your jacket with a cold sponge and re-waxing leather jackets after heavy downpours or washes.

The latest arrivals from Belstaff’s SS22 collection have just landed here at Stuarts. The Spring/Summer capsule pays homage to Belstaff’s roots with technical functionality seen throughout the collection – such as the Tactical Cargo Shorts, Atlantic Fleece & the Surge Crewneck.

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