The Consort Story

The Consort Jacket is a true Henri Lloyd original, and carries with it a unique identity. 2017 marks a new chapter in the Consort story, so it’s time to take a look back at where it all began – and the journey since then.

A sea farer

A pioneering design by Mr Henri himself in 1965, The Consort was created to protect explorers against the worst of weather conditions, and combined all of Mr Henri’s innovation in waterproof fabrication.

In 1967, the Consort was put to the ultimate test, when it was worn by Sir Francis Chichester for the first solo sailing voyage around the globe. He famously chose a green Consort, which surprised many as green was often considered a poor choice for sailors as it doesn’t stand out in the sea. When asked about his choice, Sir Francis replied ‘Who would be there to see me?’

Read more about Sir Francis’ incredible undertaking here >

A trend setter

From its roots as a piece of high performance technical clothing, the Consort was given a different lease of life in 1984 when it was adopted by the Milan Scooter Society as part of their ‘uniform’. The ‘Paninari’ (so-called for the ‘Al Panino’ sandwich bar where they used to hang out) drove around on scooters and cultivated a preppy aesthetic of premium denim jeans, boots and the Consort jackets. This projected the Consort (and Henri Lloyd) into the realm of fashion for the first time. Such was the influence of the Paninaro scene that the Consort soon became a must-have item for Italy’s image conscious youth, and the rest of Europe soon followed suit. The popularity of the Consort in Europe throughout the eighties led to Henri Lloyd being recognised with a Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement.

A record breaker

In 1989, the first ever all-female crew entered the Whitbread Round the World, one of the most gruelling tests of human endurance. Skippered by Tracy Edwards and kitted out by Henri Lloyd, ‘Maiden’ won two of the legs and came second in class overall – not only the best result for an all-female crew ever, but the best result for a British boat since 1977. A record that has never been beaten to this day.

A re-inventer

2012 marked 50 years of Henri Lloyd, so to celebrate we revisited our archives to create a reworked version of the original Consort jacket. Cult Italian designer Olmes Carretti evolved a fresh take on the classic jacket, using innovative fabrics and vivid colours. The winning combination of style and practicality proved as appealing as ever.

The next page in the story…

50 years on we invited 5 designers to draw from their own curiosity in re-exploring the essence of this iconic jacket. The result: 13 unique interpretations created for a new generation of adventurous minds.

Fusing original design with the latest technical innovations in fabrication and craftsmanship, the Consort, the true ‘Henri Lloyd’ of jackets, is reborn in thirteen exclusive designs, many featuring hand-made treatments to deliver unique contemporary finishes, and strictly limited availability. The collection includes the limited edition ‘Tartan Consort’ with eco fur trim and the ‘Rubber Soul Consort’ which combines a rubber fabric outer with contrasting quilt silver lining.
Olmes Carretti once commented that: “The Henri Lloyd Consort jacket was born to be a true ‘consort.’ It is the sole and true companion of sailing athletes…” And now, with thirteen unique designs to choose from, each individual can find their perfect partner.