The Cagoule Story
The Cagoule Story
We all know the scenario. The day starts out sunny and dry and so you dress accordingly, looking effortlessly cool as you always do. All good so far. Then from nowhere the clouds descend upon you, the sun goes in and now you find yourself with the rain teeming down hard on you and the wind is whipping at you frantically.
If only somebody had invented a lightweight, waterproof, windbreaker of a coat that could be folded and stuffed into a tiny bag and kept on you at all times!
One can only imagine that is exactly what former marine Noel Bibby was thinking about in 1960 when he created and patented just such a design, credited as being the original jacket of it’s kind. Bibby sold the jacket under his appropriately named brand Peter Storm.
Shortly after in France in 1965, presumably based on the Peter Storm original, Leon-Claude Duhamel created his own version of the jacket from nylon with a pocket in front. Duhamel enhanced this functionality by adding an elastic band to the pocket, allowing the packed jacket to be worn around the waist for extra convenience. Now there was never an excuse to get caught short!
According to the K-Way website “Duhamel called the jacket “En cas”, French for “in case”, referring both to the perpetual chance of rain, as well as its self-stowing pocket.
Duhamel sold tens of millions of the K-Way right through the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties until the Nineties when that style of jacket became seemingly uncool for a while. Evidently the fashion gods at that time decreed that getting caught in a rainstorm was a very chic and cool look to wear. (The Shores team are based in Manchester and so this is a look we have had to learn to perfect over time).
It is from the French K-Way success that the jacket became known as a ‘cagoule’, from the French word of the same name meaning balaklava. The derivatives of the spelling of cagoule vary depending on the country and it’s functionality. In England, in the late Seventies and Eighties, the green Peter Storm version was a key part of the desired look for football fans on the terraces, where it was very much known and spelt as ‘kagool’.
At the height of it’s popularity in the UK it became popular not just through Peter Storm and K-Way but also by a succession of pseudo brand names such as “Pac-a-Mac” and “Cag in a Bag”.
The kagool has seen a huge resurrection in later years in the light of the booming festival culture, where alongside a good pair of wellies it has become a unisex ‘must-have’ wardrobe and festival item. Now a version of the kagool can be found in most high street and online stores and while some retailers have reduced it down to it’s most basic and cheapest elements, other stores and brands have taken great pride in perfecting the kagool into a beautifully tailored, enduring item of outerwear.
The kagool has even made the transition from the streets, festivals and football terraces onto the catwalk where it has been adopted and updated by some of the most famous names in fashion.
Available pretty much everywhere in every shape, colour, pattern and price you can possibly imagine – there’s no good reason to own one….two perhaps…