Eric Musgrave

Since 1980, menswear & fashion retail commentator, opinionated thought-leader,
event host & all-round top bloke. Contact me to discuss working together.

WP celebrates 30 years in style

On my seasonal trips to the Pitti Uomo menswear fair in Florence, I always head for the WP Store in the city to check out the latest goodies from this brilliant Italian distribution company.

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WP stands for Work In Progress and the company name is now officially written as WP Lavori In Corso, thereby combining the Italian phrase and the English abbreviation. Three decades of the work it has progressed has now been gathered in a superb 256-page hardback book that celebrates the company, the brands it handles, its own shops, its stellar line-up of collaborators and much besides. For anyone interested in high-quality heritage brands, it’s a must.

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The book can be viewed on the WP site here. Published by Rizzoli, the book has been put together beautifully by Inventory Media, the Canadian producers of a fine magazine devoted to heritage labels and old-school manufacturing.

WP was set up in Bologna in 1982 by Giuseppe Calori and the company is now guided by his daughter, Cristina. its highgly impressive timeline shows all the brands it has worked with over the years.

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Many of my personal favourite brands are handled by WP in some form or another – as distributor, design collaborator or as direct owner – such as

Woolrich

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Barbour

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Baracuta (which WP recently acquired outright),

WP 007

plus others I am less familiar with, such as the Italian knitwear specialist Avon Celli, which was founded in Milan in 1922.

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A section of the book is devoted to interviews with WP’s celebrated design collaborators, such as Mark McNairy, who works with Woolrich Woolen Mills. As you can see here, the modern photography is as tasty as the retro ads that fill this marvellous book, which can be seen at high-speed on the WP website. I recommend it highly.

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