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K-Way's pioneering work in the world of outerwear

The history of the article in the case of rain

K-Way's pioneering work in the world of outerwear The history of the article in the case of rain

Some brands have become so entrenched in our collective imagination that they become one with the object they identify: «I put on the K-Way», for example, is a phrase that could refer to the waterproof jacket par excellence. This invention dates back to 1965, when Frenchman Léon-Claude Duhamel had the idea of creating rainproof outerwear that was more practical than an umbrella, more comfortable than a raincoat, and that could be folded into a pouch pocket after use. Something sportier than a classic trench coat and more practical, a kind of portable umbrella. So the idea was born to use nylon, a fabric commonly used to make umbrellas, to make an innovative outerwear item.

K-Way thus became the name of a brand and an item that has entered in French and Italian dictionaries to denote an iconic garment. The publicist Jean Castaigne wanted an American name, while the founder preferred to stick with something practical and functional: en case de, in the case of. The compromise was found in the K, reminiscent of "cas" and "way”, with a clear American twist. In the 1970s and 1980s, the K-Way spread and represented the success of a garment that became distinctive for its bright colors, technical fabrics, pockets, front zipper, and ubiquitous hood. During these years, the brand also entered into collaborations with several ski teams. In 1992 the brand was bought by Pirelli, then in '95, it passed to the merchant bank So. PA.F. and later to Milan's Multimodal Network. Finally, in 2004, it became part of the Turin group BasicNet, which was responsible for the relaunch of the brand. 

Within a few years, the brand was relaunched on the world market thanks to the Turin Group's marketplace. In 2006, the new K-Way collections are presented at the Bread and Butter Fair in Barcelona, while in 2010 the first K-Way flagship store opens in Turin. Two years later, the first store in the U.S. follows, in Soho, New York. In 2014, ten years after the acquisition, the third generation of the K-Way jacket, the Le Vrai 3.0, is launched: a design inspired by the original model but made of a ripstop fabric that is even more technological than its predecessor. It is so successful that K-Way Le Vrai 3.0 becomes one of the brand's main lines, opening up to other product categories. The increasing attention paid to outerwear and its stylistic diversification - casual, sporty, elegant, and the adjacent cut areas - have brought good fortune to the French-Italian brand, which focuses on an increasingly wide range. Today, K-Way counts on a merchandising offer that includes knitwear, sportswear accessories, and beachwear. And above all, the brand has found a new dimension of expression in collaborations to discover new sides of its heritage: Collection Privé, Fendi, and Ami Paris are just some of the names that have joined K-Way's recognizable aesthetic. The possibilities of wearing a K-Way are countless and keep rewriting the pages of outerwear.

The brand's legacy will also take center stage at an event on Sept. 21 that will unveil K-Way's new headquarters. At Via dell'Aprica 12, it will be possible to explore the brand's archive, touching on the history of the most revolutionary and iconic outerwear of recent years. with an exclusive DJ-set and art installations.