Our infatuation with Casentino wool has been leading up to this: a collaboration with Golden Bear of California to make Noah’s Wool Teddy Varsity Jacket. With its athletic design cues and subtle synthesis of American style, it perfectly embodies what Noah is about.
Casentino’s rough finish is intentional, the byproduct of a centuries-old distressing process that makes the wool both tougher and warmer. Its origins date all the way back to the Etruscans, and its use is associated with everything from medieval friar’s robes to bright orange coats for the prized horses of the House of Savoy. These days, you’re most likely to see it employed in men’s overcoats.
Once it occurred to us that Casentino would make a dextrous substitute for the Melton wool typically found in varsity jackets, there was only one manufacturer to contact: Golden Bear. They’ve been in business since the twenties, famously outfitted fighter pilots in World War II, and remain a family-run business who operate a small factory in downtown San Francisco. The structural integrity of their sewing and finishing, along with details like leather cuff guards and fleece-lined pockets, combine to make their jackets stalwarts that will outlast almost anything in your closet.
Finally, along with the classic chenille letter patch at the chest, we’ve chain-stitched a vibrant Cross Country graphic on the back to pay homage both to a style of running we love and the cultural pull of the East and West Coasts. Cross Country runners tend to be rugged and individualistic, and navigate their own path through the woods. Those of us lucky enough to have traveled the length of the country more than once in pursuit of our own vision feel a kinship with them.