Though best known for their G9 sports jackets, Baracuta started life producing rainwear for Burberry and Aquascutum in the 1930’s before owners John and Isaac Miller began to develop their company as a brand in its own right. The brothers success in business allowed them to move in certain social circles, none of which were more important to the brand than the golf set. In 1937 they developed a waterproof zipped waist length sports jacket designed to allow freedom of movement on the golf course, the raglan sleeve construction allowing for an easy swing motion without hindrance from seams, and so one of the most iconic jackets ever was born, the G9. The ‘G’ standing for Golf, of course. The following year eccentric socialite and avid golfer the 24
In 1937 they developed a waterproof zipped waist length sports jacket designed to allow freedom of movement on the golf course, the raglan sleeve construction allowing for an easy swing motion without hindrance from seams, and so one of the most iconic jackets ever was born, the G9. The ‘G’ standing for Golf, of course. The following year eccentric socialite and avid golfer the 24th Chieftain of the Fraser Clan, Lord Lovat, was approached by John Miller in order to gain approval for the clan's tartan to be used as the lining on the G9 and G4, permission was granted and so the finishing touch of the vibrant red tartan offset the new jackets look. As war broke out manufacturing took a back foot, though Lord Lovat’s war exploits as a commando leader and praise from Churchill himself (describing him as “the most mild-mannered man to ever scuttle ships or cut a man's throat” could only help the jackets prestige.
By 1950 with the jackets popularity growing, Isaac Miller began exporting the G9 & G4 to America and it found its way to the U.S golfing elite being worn by Bob Hope and Ronald Regan, though soon an edgier breed of actor would soon adopt it. In 1958 Elvis Presley wore a G9 in ‘King Creole’ instantly giving this jacket fashion credentials. Though many mistaken believe that two years earlier James Dean sported at bright red Baracuta in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ it was in fact a similar unlined jacket by rival U.S company McGregor, though in on 12th July 1963 the rivalry became a moot point, when the King of Cool Steve McQueen was featured on the front Life magazine wearing his infamous stone colour G9 and subsequently a navy version in the 1968 film the ‘Thomas Crown Affair’.
We cannot reach the 60’s though without touching on the G9’s transition into street culture via the ‘mod’ or ‘modernists’ scene adopting this jacket as a casual standard a borrowing from the relaxed but elegant style of the Ivy League set. Another screen appearance of the jacket in British soap opera Peyton Place sealed the G9 moniker being worn by character Rodney Harrington, though it was J. Simmons owner of the specialist Ivy League shop who cemented the nickname by advertising it as the Rodney Harrington jacket, simply shorted to the ‘Harrington’.
The jacket has seen many decades, and appeared in many sub-cultures, fashion scenes and countless movies, not to mention on the famous and stylish from Miles David to Damon Albarn, Steve McQueen to Daniel Craig the Baracuta simple styling and clean-cut make it a wardrobe staple, often imitated with countless ‘Harrington’ style jackets but only one G9.