When the Argentine Marxist revolutionary, Che Guevara, set off on his epic nine month, 8,000 km trek through the cities, prairies, jungles, deserts and mountains of South America in 1952, he had the good sense to do so with the aid of two illustrious Great British brands.
First, he chose to ride a 1939 single-cylinder Norton Model 18 500cc motorcycle, which he called The Mighty One. Second, as protection against the extreme elements, he elected to wear an early version of the iconic weatherproof Belstaff Trialmaster wax cotton jacket. No wonder his odyssey of personal and political self-discovery was such a success. We can only imagine how the course of Central American and Cuban history would have turned had he worn a coat of lesser quality.
The original Belstaff coat was conceived in 1924 when the business was established for the purpose of manufacturing protective clothing for motorcyclists. Belstaff, the first company to use wax cotton fabric, soon diversified into producing all-weather garments and accessories for aviators. The Belstaff Trialmaster was introduced in 1948 and has been keeping bikers warm and dry ever since. It is not just Che Guevara who can attest to the jacket's benefits. Racing legend Sammy Miller wore his while winning more than 1,300 trial events, believing it to be his lucky charm. Even the Hollywood star Steve McQueen was a fan; as a motorcycle enthusiast he regularly wore a Trialmaster when riding.
Setting the benchmark, the Trialmaster has inspired a series of jackets in the Belstaff Legends Collection, which includes the Roadmaster. With both jackets cut and sized for women, it's not just men who can enjoy the Belstaff experience. Nor does the company restrict itself to the use of wax cotton as a fabric. Belstaff leather jackets are available in a number of moto-inspired styles; there is even a horse-hide version of the Trialmaster. More recently, thanks to the influence of its new owners, Belstaff has been transformed into a top luxury lifestyle brand that offers a comprehensive range of stylish ready-to-wear clothing, footwear and accessories designed especially for its discerning male and female customers. Whether it's an outfit for on or off the motorcycle, town or country, work or play, both bikers and fashion-conscious members of the public can shop with confidence at Belstaff.