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Engineered Garments G8 Jacket


Welcome to "DEEP DIVE," where we delve into the inspirations behind our favorite Engineered Garments. In this installment, we turn our focus to the “G8 Jacket,” a newly designed piece for Fall/Winter 2023 that boasts a remarkable level of detail and an intriguing, enigmatic past.

The era of aerial warfare took flight during World War I's early days, as unarmed aircraft played crucial roles in gathering intelligence on enemy positions, supply routes, and troop movements. By the war's second year, major powers had established enduring principles that persisted until the advent of the jet age in the late 1940s. Fighter planes were equipped for ground assault and air-to-air combat, strategic bombing missions were meticulously mapped, and a ceaseless pursuit of technical superiority ensued.

Amidst these developments, the US military designed thick leather jackets to shield pilots and ground crew from cold weather and high altitudes. Iconic designs like the A1, B3, and D1 jackets emerged, predating the nylon flight jackets of the jet age. With their robust silhouettes, cowhide exteriors, and shearling interiors, these models transcended wartime function to become enduring fixtures of American style post-conflict.

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Surplus production by the United States government ensured an ample supply for over three decades. However, by the 1970s, dwindling stocks became apparent. Enter Jeff Clyman, a pilot, vintage flight jacket trader, and collector, who began reproducing A-2 and G-1 jackets under the label Avirex.

In Avirex's 1980s catalog, a goatskin jacket known as the G8 surfaced, purportedly issued to US Navy and Marine Corps flyers in the 1920s and 30s. Its design elements—double gussets facilitating movement in cramped cockpits, diamond-shaped arm patches, wind-resistant zipper cuffs, and adjustable side tabs—all suggested authenticity. Yet, historical records fail to confirm any army-issued version before the G-1's creation in 1947.

Conflicting accounts surround the G8's origins. The most compelling evidence indicates that, while later adopted by other American companies like Willis & Geiger and Banana Republic, Avirex likely crafted the jacket, fabricating its history to bolster sales. The design appears to amalgamate elements from General Lucien Truscott's bespoke leather jacket and the 1940-issued M-422A Flying Jacket. The name possibly drew inspiration from “G-8 and His Battle Aces,” a pulp magazine chronicling the daring escapades of the fictional hero, G-8, from 1930 to 1944.

Nevertheless, the G8 enjoyed considerable success, sustaining popularity throughout the 1980s and influencing the creation of the “Raider Jacket” for Harrison Ford's character in the Indiana Jones films.

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For Fall/Winter 2023, Daiki Suzuki draws inspiration from this legendary flight jacket that never saw official military use, introducing the Engineered Garments G8 Jacket. Retaining many original details—such as the multi-panel body, sleeves, and diamond patches—the design employs innovative techniques, including the replication of these features on textile versions.

Despite its seemingly conventional appearance, the jacket conceals an intricate construction method involving complex patterns and multiple production stages. Features like the underarm ventilation system, adjustable buckles, and quilted hourglass lining showcase both utility and subtlety, merging simplicity with sophistication.

While the G8 may not have earned military status, its history remains captivating. Daiki leverages this depth, employing meticulous production methods to imbue a seemingly unassuming item with surprising profundity.

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The G8 Jacket is available in the following fabrics:
Black Heavyweight Cotton Ripstop
Khaki PC Coated Cloth
Olive Heavyweight Cotton Ripstop
Olive PC Coated Cloth