There are very few fashion brands that can claim to have an entire genre of clothing named after them, but Mackintosh is one. The key date in the brand's history is 1823, when Mr Charles Macintosh patented his method of rubberising cotton to create a waterproof fabric. At a time when the choice of available coat fabrics was largely restricted to cotton, which didn't keep a man dry, and wool, which also didn't keep a man dry, it was a very significant innovation.
The idea is simple, as Mackintosh marketing director Mr John Sugden explains: "It's a coat for the rain. Our coats are fully waterproof; if you spend a day in the rain like we've been having this summer you stay bone-dry." Although there are now many ways to keep dry there remain very few choices as elegant as a Mackintosh coat. The fact that the simple, fly-front garments look as modern now as they ever have is testament to the power of their minimalist design. The image a Mackintosh gives to a man nods to the Mad Men aesthetic while remaining current.
No less contemporary is the appeal of the coat's British provenance. Mackintosh is based in Cumbernauld, a town outside the Scottish city of Glasgow, and the brand is proud to make all its outerwear in the UK. After all, where better to perfect the design of clothes that keep the rain out?