The Mackintosh coat is seen by many as the origin of wearable latex clothing. Although designed to be entirely practical, early versions of the coat faced a wealth of problems; it became stiff when cold, began to melt in heat and often gave off a bad smell. The outbreak of WWII led to a huge increase in rubber protective gear, intensifying its fetish appeal.
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As for the Mackintosh brand itself, their mainstream success has not been as easy going. By the s the company was close to bankruptcy, anyone that had previous used their coats for practical reasons had found cheaper alternatives.