Started in Detroit, Michigan, Carhartt clothes were designed for workers, mostly outdoors (read: railroads), who needed tough, resistant boots, overalls, and jackets in harsh northern winters. But the company almost didn't make it through the 20th century.
The Great Depression of the1930s nearly killed Carhartt off, leaving it with only three plants still operating, down from 17. Founder Hamilton Carhartt and his son, Wylie, hit the road to pump life back into the brand, settling in Irvine, Kentucky. To this day, the company operates much of its services from Irvine.