Ring Jacket's Black Sheep Wool Jacket

Celebrating the natural beauty of New Zealand’s finest fleece

When Fiona Gardner approached Loro Piana in 2002, she was considered the black sheep of her industry peers and a target of scorn. Unlike her competitors who favored white sheep for the convenient reason that their wool is easier to dye, the New Zealand sheep breeder bucked against industry norms. Instead, she procured, researched, and bred black and brown sheep on her 1,500 acre farm. Her gut instinct told her that their captivating, if unconventional wool, would interest people.

20 years on and her instincts have proven to be right. Loro Piana now owns exclusive rights to the fiber, which is processed and turned into incredibly fine fabrics. What makes the wool so special is that the wool remains undyed, allowing the fleece’s natural color to come through. The material is so special that the company dubbed it Pecora Nera (which means black sheep in Italian). To this day, only a small number of brands use this material.

This season, we’ve teamed up with Ring Jacket to make up a sport coat in this unique fabric, both in their popular 184 fit and our Armoury exclusive AMJ03 fit. Unlined with a loose hopsack weave, this sport coat is ideal for warmer weather and works as a great substitute to a navy blazer. The garment can be paired with khaki chinos for a tonal effect, or with white or cream trousers for a more summery look. For something easier to pull off, grey trousers and dark blue jeans work just as easily with brown as they would a navy sport coat.

Unlike conventional wool which has to be dyed, Pecora Nera’s naturally undyed state means that the garment has a crisp texture not found elsewhere. The material also blends differently colored wool fibers together, including black, brown-black, silver-grey and blue-grey. This vibrant mix of colors come together to create a unique hue somewhere between brown and grey. It complements cool and warm skin tones, while adding depth and character to the garment.

Shop Ring Jacket’s black sheep wool sport coat, available in the 184 fit and the AMJ03 fit.