The Enduring Power of Carhartt Comes From More Than Style

How a hard-wearing industrial brand lures laborers, rappers and fashionistas alike

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In the summer of 1993, readers of the Los Angeles Times opened their papers to a startling bit of news—and for once it wasn’t about wildfires, mudslides or Michael Jackson. “Work clothes worn by dad and other unhip people are now all the rage among some youths,” ran the headline. And while the story mentioned the likes of Sears and Kmart, it was mostly about Carhartt.

For good reason, too. In the preceding two years, hip-hop performers including Dr.

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This story first appeared in the April 2, 2024, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.