[DEEP DIVE] TRUCKER JACKET
Welcome back to "DEEP DIVE". In this series go behind the scenes to trace the genesis of our favorite Engineered Garments items. In this installation, we took out our magnifying glass to take a closer look at the Trucker Jacket, the Engineered Garments version of the prototypical denim jacket.
The trucker jacket is a sure slice of Americana. No matter how many times it is deconstructed, overhauled or refurbished, it remains hearty and hale. The more warped, frayed, and imperfect it becomes, the more it is beloved.
In 1905, the Levi Straus & Co. introduced the first Type I trucker jacket as the Levi Blouse, crafted from Levi’s signature unsanforized 9 oz. double heavy extra strong quality XX denim, and marketed as a companion product for the 501's which were crafted from the same material. As the name suggests, it was intended for use as a work shirt, hence the form-fitting proportions and the action pleats for range of movement. For decades, indigo dyed denim was worn strictly by working class people, with the Ivy League group wearing only white jeans.
During the 1970s, seemingly out of nowhere, a blue jeans craze swept the world. What was once a tame piece of workwear turned into a counter-cultural fashion icon. In Japan, denim became a cornerstone of the highly popular “Amekaji”, or American casual, fashion movement. Japanese enthusiasts studied each facet of these jackets. The trucker jacket received its name from the Japanese collectors who used the name to classify the Levi’s 101 style jacket.
Engineered Garments designer Daiki picked up his first pair of Levi’s at 11 years old, and his first pair of 501’s when he was 13 years old, from the only stockist that carried them in Aomori, an American select goods store. To Daiki, America represented a land where impossible dreams came true, and he formed a deep emotional connection to the Made in USA products - talismans from this other world.
Moving to Tokyo for university, Daiki took a job at an American import goods store, where he learned even more about these products, and the trucker jacket in particular. Apart from seeing them on movie stars like Martin Sheen in “Badlands”, he learned the ins and outs from his coworkers, who taught him what made the Type I, Type II, and Type III special. Hankering for a jacket of his own, he ventured to Ueno’s hallowed Ameyokocho, purchasing a vintage 1950s Levi’s Type I.
Combining the expertise garnered from years as a buyer with the spiritual connection he forged as a youngster, Daiki has designed various trucker jackets for Engineered Garments Over the years. At times he took inspiration from Lee, Blue Bell’s Maverick, and later Levi’s models, but for the Spring Summer 2022 collection he returns to the classic Type 1. The Engineered Garments Trucker Jacket is manufactured in orthodox style, featuring a flurry of bar tacks across the front and traditional Scoville donut rivets throughout (in line with Levi’s claim to have the strongest jeans in the business).
Changes can be found with the inclusion of inside breast pockets, a detail borrowed from the UK version of the “Ike” short cropped army jacket. The belt around the hem is also removed, just as many customers cut it off themselves.
The Trucker Jacket sits not only at the center of American fashion, but at the center of United States culture itself. Starting out from humble roots and rising to international fame, the garment is a physical embodiment of the American dream. With his version, Daiki introduces an Engineered Garment touch, punching out the proportions and offering a variety of fabrics. In the process he adds his own verse to the product’s story. Just like any good American product, the Engineered Garments Trucker Jacket can be enjoyed for years to come.
The Trucker Jacket is available the following fabrics:
- Grey CP Waffle
- Indigo Industrial 8oz Denim
- Khaki 14W Corduroy
- Natural 6.5oz Flat Twill
Available in-store and online at nepenthesny.coM