Belstaff’s New Collection Honors Formula 1 Legend James Hunt

We’d expect nothing less from the rugged brand and an homage to a racer best known for his looks and panache.
Source: Belstaff
  • Key Details: A capsule collection of six items (polos, trousers, and jackets), designed with Hunt's two sons, that are all racing- or motorcycle-inspired.
  • Price: $175 for the polos, $2,295 for the most expensive jacket.
  • Why It's Worth It: The clothes are made with the quality of Belstaff, with sleek contemporary cuts. They are not too rugged, but they look masculine and well-fitted.

Maybe you saw Rush, the 2013 Ron Howard film staring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl.

It chronicled the 1976 Formula 1 racing season and off-track exploits of Niki Lauda (Bruhl) and James Hunt, the British racing heartthrob who was equally admired for his 1976 Formula 1 world championship win and his freethinking persona. (He famously brought his pet German Shepherd, Oscar, to dine with him at swank spots in Mayfair; he often showed up to formal events shoeless, in a t-shirt and jeans.)

5th April 1974:  Racing driver James Hunt (1947 - 1993) at the wheel of his car at Silverstone.  (Photo by Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images)
Racing driver James Hunt (1947 - 1993) at the wheel of his car at Silverstone in 1974.
Photographer: Victor Blackman/Getty Images

Hunt’s sons Tom, 30, and Freddie, 29, have licensed Belstaff to develop a collection of clothing inspired by the flashy red racing suits their father wore when he drove. (Like his late father, Freddie is a professional race car driver; he and Niki Lauda’s son, Mathias, are teammates in Euro Nascar.)

The line includes polo shirts, jackets, and motorcycle-ready black denim jeans; the waist-length jackets are especially smart. They’re made in Italy from hand-waxed, lightweight, calfskin leather and lined like Hunt’s racing suit: in a rich, red that's the same hue as his unmistakable Hesketh car—with vertical white stitching. Sizes run true for men; no women's sizing is available.

Models wear the James Hunt collection.

James Hunt's sons Tom (left) and Freddie model the collection.

Source: Belstaff

I best like the James Hunt x Belstaff JH Tokyo Blouson in black ($2,195). It most closely celebrates Hunt’s race in Fuji, Japan, in 1976, when he finally beat Lauda and clinched the F1 championship that year by just one point. The coat comes with quilting details on the shoulder and two chest pockets. There are no pockets for moto armor inside; this coat is strictly for the street. Along with the rest of the jackets, which run from $795 to $2,295, it is now available in stores and online.

What a way to celebrate a 40-year anniversary of success.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.