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[DEEP DIVE] FISHING VEST

Welcome back to “DEEP DIVE.” In this series, we go behind the scenes to trace the genesis of our favorite Engineered Garments items. In this installation, we took out our magnifying glass to examine the Fishing Vest, a new Engineered Garments item that retools utilitarian fishing gear into an aesthetic exploration. 

Engineered Garments’ Fall Winter 2022 collection is inspired by “The Lighthouse,” a genre-bending, dreary, macabre film set on the shores of a mysterious New England island. Beyond the costume design, which tracks with Engineered Garments’ typical affection for military, workwear, and uniform clothing, the film’s ambiguity and sense of experimentation form a major cornerstone of this season’s point of view. On certain items, the movie’s influence is overt, with the Reefer Jacket taking clear inspiration from the U.S. Navy Pea Coat. Elsewhere, as on the Fishing Vest, the impact is more nebulous, sharing the film’s use of a single spark of inspiration that can grow into a whole idea. 

Engineered Garments designer Daiki Suzuki has created fishing-related items before. He made a highly technical version for his inaugural season, including an array of mesh windows, zippers, buckles, and fasteners. This pattern has continued as recently as Spring Summer 2022, where he debuted the Fishing Over Shirt, a lo-fi rendition of a 1950’s L.L. Bean or Orvis fishing jacket. Given fishing’s proximity to the water, it seemed natural to make an angling vest for the Fall Winter season. However, rather than try to compete with high-performance fishing vests, he shifted his attention towards making an item that prioritized aesthetics. Capitalizing on “The Lighthouse”  ’s murkiness, he resolved to create a piece of clothing that expounds on a fragment of inspiration, transforming it into a fully fleshed concept. 

Daiki scoured catalogs, magazines, and movies for the sliver of a concealed idea. While examining vintage fishing jackets manufactured by Masland and Wood-Stream, he became fixated on a peculiar feature shared by many items: an inner game pocket. Often fitted with a waterproof coating, fishermen used these pockets for storing caught fish. Having found his spark, he began mapping out his approach to turn this pocket into the centerpiece of his vision. 

Daiki reached a breakthrough when he moved the game pocket to the outside, wrapping it around the vest’s left side and placing it over a diagonal strip of reinforced fabric across the vest’s back. He put a pair of matching flap pockets to balance its exaggerated presence on the right side. With the pocket system decided, Daiki looked at the rest of the garment. 

His next objective was to find a system that added length. He found the solution in traditional English hunting vests, which include a detachable skirt for sitting down on wet surfaces (a feature also present in the Engineered Garments Long Fowl Vest). This skirt gives the Fishing Vest a dramatic silhouette, with side vents, button-closed pockets, belt loops, and an elastic drawstring at the hem. Fully detachable, the wearer can wear the upper and lower pieces individually.

The vest’s finishing touch comes with a string closure system sourced from the top coat of a multi-layer snow camouflage combat uniform. Found on an all-white, over-parka designed to conceal soldiers in Arctic conditions, the sting closure allowed soldiers to close the parka without taking off their gloves. Daiki liked the design’s look and noticed the parallel to fishing gloves, making it a natural fit for the vest.   

The Fishing Vest is a pure expression of the Engineered Garments spirit. Unlike many items that Daiki designs, this item is not found anywhere in history. As a result, it is a conceptual undertaking that transforms a single pocket into a cohesive design, all while matching the nautical theme of the Fall Winter 2022 collection. Under this open canvas, features embodying Engineered Garments’ tenets intensify. Mixing juxtaposition, adaptability, and tradition, Daiki invites the wearer to experiment and create a new style. 


The Fishing Vest  is available in the following fabrics:


Dark Navy PC Coated Cloth

Olive PC Coated Cloth

Olive Cotton Ripstop



Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.com