Capitalising on its worldwide dominance in the field of mining and heavy machinery, including tractors, Caterpillar took the relatively brave decision to launch a clothing line in 1994.
Caterpillar started out as the Holt Engineering Company in the 1890s, when Benjamin Holt improved the design of industrial mining and farming equipment with wider wheels and tank-style tracks. These tracks were the basis of the company fortune and also its name, as one of Holt's employees noted that a tractor equipped with them looked like a caterpillar in motion. Now the famous yellow tractors have been joined by an arsenal of trucks and heavy equipment and most mining facilities in the world, as well as many farms, are littered with the legendary CAT logo.
It has arms in finance and now the general public can also buy into its image with the clothing line. The first items were heavy work boots, but Caterpillar has gone on to lend its name to hats, coats, watches and other items. The style was initially confined to rugged outdoor wear, fitting with the brand and promoting a hard wearing and tough image. Watches, pocket knives and other apparel were slowly added and now there's a full line-up that includes umbrellas, sunglasses and even branded golf balls and mouse mats.
Recently, the Cat Racing line has embraced a more colourful look with a sportswear line-up and there's even a cute selection of children's clothing for the engineers of tomorrow.