Baracuta is part of the roots here at Stuarts London. From when our store first opened in 67’, we have stocked the iconic jackets that have been pivotal within the fashion, film and media industries since their inception. Baracuta is instantly recognisable for it’s silhouette, eye-catching tartan and it’s fit. It all started in 1937, this is when two brothers John and Isaac Miller set out to create a golfers jacket. However, the actual foundations for the Baracuta brand was formed in 1912 by the Miller family in Manchester - known for their rain jackets. The brothers wanted to create a jacket that would give golfers freedom of movement whilst taking their swing.
A lot went into the design of the G9 Jacket to ensure a jacket was created that would improve a golfer’s game, experience and movement. The innovative fastening approach was created to help shield the golfer from the weather as well as the high collar and strong inner lining. The cape structure on the back that is commonly known as the ‘Wing Back Umbrella’ or ‘Back Yoke’ offers the wearer an added flare of movement and structure. Inspired by the common umbrella, The back yoke is designed to get rid of the rain without compromising the overall look. The two front pockets were also deliberately designed to be oversized to perfectly fit golf balls and of course at a slant so they do not fall out. Even rubber strips were added to the cuffs of the sleeve to help the golfer avoid impact and restriction on their swing.
This is where the G9 was born, G for golf, 9 for 9 holes. Although the jacket was set to have exceptional athletic capabilities, it evolved into something much greater than they had imagined. The combination of their creative flare and innovation of fabrics meant that their jacket became a pivotal and iconic piece. The Fraser tartan created an immediate bold flare whilst the silhouette broke the norm. By the 50’s it exploded in the US, this is said to be because of the influence of major celebrities such as Ryan O’Neal sporting the jacket in films and TV. O’Neal even went on to become known for the G9 and that is how the ‘Harrington’ was born, named after his character ‘Rodney Harrington of Peyton Place.’
However, before the ‘Harrington’ was born, the Miller brothers still had work to undertake to become the household name we all know. Isaac Miller moved to America in 53’ and opened a sales office at the Empire State Building. The boys of the Ivy League, an unexpected wearer of the jacket, wear against the norms of suit and ties, instead they opted for the G9. Just as this culture was growing significantly, film posters started to appear all around the world with the G9 first and foremost. Steve Mcqueen was sporting the red G9 in 63’ in the Life Magazine and soon after, Elvis Presley wore the film King Creole. It is clear to see that the film industry played a pivotal role in the success of the G9 and even to this day in 2021, you can still spot a Baracuta a mile off. However, another important group that was attributed to the brand was the mods. The mods went on to adopt the Harrington jacket as part of their ‘uniform.’ With influence from musical trends and the ideals behind the construction of the jackets, Mod Culture was born. Soon the G9 Harrington really became a hallmark of the cultural times of the 70’s and 80’s. Throughout the years, the jacket was always prominent and still highly influential within TV & film to really create the culture it brought with it. By the 90’s and 00’s the jacket was once again rediscovered by the Brit-rick revival. Damon Albarn, Franz Ferdinand and Liam Gallagher were key leaders in this revival and brought the Harrington straight back into the spotlight. By 2008, the jacket was even the main garment for Bond himself (Quantum of Solace, played by Daniel Craig).
The G9 and G4 both share the classic Baracuta style with only minimal adjustments. The G4 jacket is a looser fit, compared to the G9 it does not have a ribbed hem or cuff giving it a looser silhouette for the wearer. The overall unique characteristics of the G9 are still prevalent throughout the G4 silhouette.
Throughout the years, imitators have come and gone, all failing to ride the wave of cultural phenomenon that is Baracuta. With introductions of new styles, the quality and functionality has always remained top of the game. The jacket to this day still holds the DNA from when it first began, it is made in England and the Fraser Tartan is still as bold as it was in it’s first ever construction. From film, to casual everyday wear - one thing that is unmistakable is that the design of Baracuta is a true symbol of British heritage wear and encompasses authenticity.