New To HIP: Left Hand

Left Hand was born in 1993 as one of the several labels founded by the influential late figure Massimo Osti. Continuing Osti’s fascination with traditional military garments and his intense textile research, Left Hand developed a minimalist and utilitarian style that resonated across Europe. Relaunched in 2022 with direction from the award-winning British designer Christopher Raeburn – who’s eponymous label has developed a unique design language that focuses on reworked military fabrics and blending alternate sentiments of luxury and functionality. Raeburn plans to keep Left Hand’s original roots but evolve the brand to match with clothing’s contemporary landscape, emphasising values like sustainability and timeless craft.

Massimo Osti holds cult status, revolutionising the landscape of sportswear in the late 20th century – most famously during his time at C.P Company and Stone Island. Dubbed the “godfather of urban sportswear”, Osti’s innovations marked a new epoch within the genre, as he combined traditional workwear and military garments with research and modern experimentation.  

One of Osti’s lesser-known projects was Left Hand. Born in 1993 and enduring until 1999, the label continued his cutting-edge innovation. Portraying the Italian’s fascination with the functionality of military garments, Left Hand developed a practical style. The label’s aesthetic was discreet, concentrating less on overt branding. Remnants of Osti’s most famous designs can be seen through his creations at Left Hand, including the intricate multi-pocket jackets that became synonymous with C.P Company. 

Now, over two decades on, Left Hand is being relaunched by the award-winning British designer Christopher Raeburn. At his eponymous label, Raeburn has pioneered RÆMADE: a design philosophy centred around reworking surplus fabrics into unique, functional garments. Being deeply inspired by vintage military apparel, Raeburn’s first collection (AW10) used de-commissioned military stock to create limited edition outerwear for both men and women. A distinct facet of Raeburn’s design language is ethical concern, with sustainable materials and responsible production at the forefront of his work. The designer will reinvigorate Left Hand with a contemporary approach to design and garments. Whilst Raeburn’s upcoming Left Hand collection is in harmony with Osti’s original vision, it is evolved to align to the framework of contemporary sportswear today. 

Fast forward to 2022 and fabrications continue to play a leading part in Left Hand’s vision. Christopher Raeburn’s vision is realised immediately in his first season, with fabrications used throughout the collection including recycled nylons and organic garment dyed jersey fabrics that transfer Left Hand into a new modern space whilst keeping the heritage and shapes of collections from years gone by.

Dedicated archive Osti fans will be delighted to find out the upcoming deliveries from Left Hand this year will also feature the return of the legendary Osti Thermojoint fabric used in the original Left Hand collections. Thermojoint was first made as a military-grade fabric crafted from a pressed, non-woven nylon and polyester blend that famously offered up to 80% protection against nuclear radiation. Usually combined with double taped-seams for waterproofing, Thermojoint as a concept was decades ahead of its time – birthing the idea of bringing extreme function into everyday garments, making the wearer feel protected and invincible to the elements.

Our first delivery of Left Hand for SS22 comprises of all of the elements that have built the brands legacy in the past, whilst being updated with modern specifications. Lightweight outerwear highlights include the garment dyed organic cotton Sesia Overshirt and the recycled nylon Twin Pocket Shirt, whilst an organic garment dyed jersey offering of the everyday wear Crewneck Sweatshirt and Hand T-Shirt round things off.

Left Hand – new to HIP for SS22. Online now.