Nigel Cabourn X Closed AW20
Nigel Cabourn has worked with contemporary design brand Closed on an extensive collection of men and women’s clothing heavily inspired by vintage naval design. From reversible sheepskin jackets to cargo inspired pants, each piece combines Nigel’s love of authentic detailing with Closed’s penchant for relaxed, casual clothing.
As ever, there’s a lot to talk about here, but before we get to the clothes, here’s a brief primer on Closed, who they are and what they do.
Closed originally started out under the name ÇA all the way back in 1968. Founded in Italy by French designers Marithé and François Girbaud, the mission was simple—to create Italy’s first denim brand, combining laid-back sportswear with forward-thinking design. Things were going good until a large fabric supplier with the same name decided to open a case against ÇA. After much legal wrangling, the case was eventually closed, and Closed was born.
Name-change aside, Closed continued ÇA’s pioneering approach to denim, and was amongst the first to push stonewashed fabric in the 1980s. In the early ‘90s Marithé and François sold the brand to two friends from Hamburg, adding a touch of German precision into the mix, and today Closed maintains that strong European sensibility, fusing unique design elements (such as their trademark x-shaped pocket configuration found on their jeans) with classic sportswear shapes.
As with Nigel, high-quality fabrics and the way they’ve been washed are a major focus for Closed, making them the ideal candidate for collaboration, and when time came to hit the drawing board, ideas were in no short supply. Rather than focus on one single garment, fabric or tone, the collection is a fully-formed wardrobe of clothing, which covers the gamut of Nigel’s interests.
Whilst there’s no shortage of standout pieces, the pair of patch-work sheepskin jackets made especially for the collection certainly deserve a mention. The men’s sheepskin jacket is a short, hip-length jacket inspired by the classic military flight jacket shape, whilst the women’s version is a full-length overcoat. Both reversible, they can be worn with either the shearling side on the inside or the outside, and feature a high stand-collar made of goat-skin. Made using sustainable leather from the esteemed Turkish company Otto, these are serious pieces of outerwear.
On the subject of big jackets, there’s another slice of heavy artillery in the form of a military down-parka, available for both men and women. Based on a rare vintage piece from Nigel’s archive, it brings a classic design up to date with contemporary features like enzyme-washed organic cotton and featherless vegan insulation. Designed with cold weather in mind, it’s got a large teddy-fur lined hood and a concealed zip to keep the draught out.
There’s also a cord-collared work-jacket made from soft Japanese denim from the legendary Kuroki denim mill. Borrowing from both USMC utility jackets and the liners often found in military cold-weather clothing, it’s got a short, boxy shape, and a built-in padded zip-insert. Another standout is the short, hip-length men’s military jacket made from rinse-dyed cotton twill. Inspired by a vintage naval design, it features articulated sleeves for extra arm movement and two angled pleated hand-warmer pockets.
These cunning, well-thought out, details carry through to the trouser selection. Both the wide-fitting five-pocket jeans (again made from Kuroki denim) and the relaxed chinos feature brace buttons—a regular feature on Nigel’s legwear—whilst the drawstring-waisted cargo pants are made with a touch of elastane for a laid-back feel.
And finally, there’s those sweatshirts. Fusing Nigel’s love of vintage sportswear with Closed’s effortless take on contemporary design, these are high-quality fleece-back jersey sweats designed to be worn big and baggy. Their laid-back, worn-in flavour sort of sums up the whole collection—it’s functional, yet comfortable clothing, built to the standards you’d expect from both Cabourn and Closed, and perfectly suited to a modern life of leisure.