Fashion’s long-running obsession with the 90s has seen the puffer jacket enjoying a renaissance for a while now. Oversized and extra cosy, the outer layer that started life as a practical means of protection from the outside elements has since become a streetwear staple. From rapper Biggie to the Balenciaga AW18 catwalk, we trace its history below.
STYLE AND CULTURE
CULT ITEM: PUFFER JACKET
By Lakeisha Goedluck, 29 October 2018
Fast-forward to the 80s and American designer Norma Kamali unveiled her sleeping bag coat – inspired by a camping trip which ended with Kamali traipsing the great outdoors wrapped in her sleeping bag for warmth – the iconic piece is still in production to this day. That same decade, a Milanese subculture scene brought Moncler’s range of puffer jackets to the fore. The activewear brand had been supplying skiers and mountaineers since the 50s, but it was the Italian youths of the Paninaro movement that revealed the stylish side to its designs. From Timberland to Fila, the affluent collective repurposed sports and workwear garments and gave brands such as Moncler a luxurious edge.
On the catwalk, the puffer jacket has repeatedly been reimagined. From Raf Simon’s super-shiny longline styles for his AW16 collection to Rick Owens’ voluminous structures for AW17, the padded style has endured the seasons. Most recently, Donatella Versace sent emergency-orange versions down her AW18 runway and Demna Gvasalia offered up a puffer-meets-denim jacket hybrid that same season for Balenciaga.