There are few British brands with a finer heritage than Connolly. The 143-year-old label was founded back in 1878, starting as a small family business of saddlers and shoe-smiths and growing alongside the automobile industry to become globally renowned for its luxury leather interiors. Or over the last century, Connolly has worked with the creme de la creme of the car industry — Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Bentley, and Aston Martin.
Then in 1995, Connolly entered a new phase with the launch of its first garment collection, a facet of the brand that has cemented its synonymity with British luxury ever since. As the creative director Isabel Ettedgui explains, Connolly’s approach to fashion is “focused and strongly edited, combining wearability and luxurious practicality. It is loosely based around classic sportswear, emphasizing functionality, desirability, and comfort.”
Naturally, it is this apparel offering that Connolly will exhibit at Pitti 101. Specifically, the brand will show its Sporting Collection, a 15-piece range it says ties “together our important motoring history and our modern design style. [It is a] concise edit of garments inspired and designed for people doing things, getting out in the world, and making, creating, and accomplishing in their chosen industry.”
The gilet is the collection highlight; its design informed the feel of the entire capsule. The piece is warm, elegant, versatile, and functional, boasting three colorways (navy, green, and wine-red), two fastening systems (poppers and two-way zippers), and pockets. “[It’s] one of those simple and great no-nonsense things,” the brand explains. “It is intelligent and understated [piece of] clothing which understands that the wearer is more than the sum of their outfit, but [also] that good clothes help brighten your mood. We all need a bit of that.”
Given the brand’s connection to elegant finery and its automobile history, it makes sense that one of its most celebrated special projects of late has been a collaborative capsule with No Time to Die, the latest James Bond film. Connolly featured two garments in the film along with its Aston Martin DB5 leather interior; it also launched a 12-piece capsule in honor of the collab. But that’s not all. As the brand tells us, it is also “planning to launch a limited range to celebrate the 60th anniversary of James Bond … stay tuned.”