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Seventy-Five Years Later, Ketums is Reborn

World War II shuttered this Parisian brand, now it's been revived on the shores of California with classically styled outerwear

by Hans Aschim
on 04 March 2015
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In 1925 Joseph Smutek set up shop on a leafy street on the western outskirts of Paris. His business was raincoats and Smutek quickly become known in the area for the quality and utility of his garments. As his sons took over the family business in 1940, World War II found its way to the heart of the city. The family went into hiding, eventually immigrating to the US and the family business closed its doors indefinitely. Now, 75 years later, Daniel Smith—the great-grandson of founder Joseph Smutek—is reviving the brand as Ketums. The brand's first offering (fittingly a raincoat) invokes the spirit of its namesake with a commitment to craftsmanship, attention to detail and utilizing the finest materials available.

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"I studied architecture and, after a stint in the digital world, decided it was time to get back to making something physical," explains Smith. Handmade in Oakland, the versatile raincoat features a tailored fit, Japanese corduroy details and a brushed-flannel lining. On the outside, Smith opted for a heavy, waxed canvas from a family-run mill in Scotland after surveying hundreds of material samples. "I wanted to use materials I thought my grandfather might use," Smith tells CH.

The brand's first jacket is currently available for pre-order for $275. Expect Ketums to expand its line in the near future with a women's-specific version of the jacket and larger line-up of outerwear and apparel.

Images courtesy of Ketums

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