Hold my mac – Style – Kommersant


Mackintosh is a raincoat made of rubberized fabric that protects against wind and rain. A distinctive feature of this model is hidden buttons, only the top one is visible. It is also worth clarifying that the word “macintosh” itself is both a raincoat model and the name of the company that first began to sew such models (and the name of the person who patented the technology). About everything in order.

In 1823, the Scottish chemist Charles Mackintosh filed a patent for the technology to create rubberized fabric. His idea was that he fastened two layers of cotton with molten rubber – the material dried up and made the fabric waterproof. By the way, Mackintosh’s idea was not new: he spied it in the research report of the surgeon James Syme, who first came up with the idea of ​​using naphtha to melt rubber. McIntosh saw this as a potential waterproof fabric, tweaked the process a bit, and patented the technology. In 1830, Charles Macintosh founded the Charles Macintosh India Rubber Company and began making waterproof raincoats with manufacturer Thomas Hancock.

During the 19th century, the popularity of waterproof raincoats made of rubberized fabric was limited mainly to Manchester and Glasgow – occasionally these models “went” outside the UK. During the First and Second World Wars, such raincoats came into service with the British army, and after 1945 the Macintosh company supplied outerwear to employees of the railways of the United Kingdom. Around the same time, the word “mackintosh” became a household word for a coat or raincoat that protected from the rain. Over time, this model reached the USSR: in the 1970s, macs began to appear in songs (“Hey, Zhora, hold my mac …”) and literature (in Brodsky’s poetry and Nabokov’s prose).

In the 1990s, the company was going through hard times and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Rather, it was the owner company, Traditional Weatherwear, which had owned the Macintosh technology since the 1970s. To improve the company’s position, executives and designers decided to use the history of Macs as a marketing tool. This led to the fact that the model has become a cult – macs have become part of joint collections with the houses of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes and others. The success of these collections led Traditional Weatherwear to be renamed Mackintosh in 2003. The brand continues to produce clothes independently and work with big brands: for example, Maison Margiela presented a collection of mackintos at their spring-summer 2018 show.

Ilya Petruk

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