If the torrential downpours of the last few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that a versatile piece of outerwear is an invaluable wardrobe staple. If you are anything like me then the ‘country file’ aesthetic of quilted jackets that have dominated the past few seasons may have lost their appeal, and a Duffle seems a bit too dull for spring.
Whilst the heritage of brands like Barbour and Aquascutum hold a certain place in my heart, the fact Aquascutum have had to call in administrators is a telling sign; maybe it is time to move on to a new kind of heritage?
In steps ‘Alpha Industries’ with the classic MA-1 bomber. Alpha industries are – in heritage terms – a relatively young brand which formed in the 1970s, but they are steeped in coolness largely from the fact they created the jackets worn by the US air force in the Vietnam War. Even today, they still remain as a supplier of apparel to the US Air force.
But it takes more than an interesting back story to get a forgotten brand back into my style consciousness. Recently, the classic MA-1 bomber has taken on a new life as cult fashion item Japan. The nylon flying jacket has been seen sported with embellishment and badges by many a cool kid in the region, with the end result being a unique and contemporary look for a classic military heritage piece.
With the introduction of fresh new colours for the upcoming autumn/winter season, I predict that the London street fashion scene will be overrun by trendsetters sporting the MA-1. I have also heard that many celebrity stylists are stocking up on this item, as its set to go cult like other 80s labels such as BOY.
At a not totally costly £130, I will be investing early and earning my fashion stripes whilst the rain still pours. There are probably going to be a lot of imitations on the high street come autumn but I always recommend paying a little more for the real deal. Styling direction will be sourced from the 80s, so try wearing your trusty MA-1 with a skinny jean (what else?) and some Dr Martens for an effortlessly cool take on heritage.
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