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GDP x Golden Bear Sportswear Varsity Jacket

Sep 22, 2023

Nepenthes New York proudly presents the Garment District Productions x Goldenbear Sportswear Varsity Jacket. Leveraging more than 100 years of heritage, Goldenbear crafts each jacket by hand, using premium materials to construct the leather sleeves, melton body, satin lining, and classic ribbed cuffs and hem.

Garment District Productions, the in-store brand of Nepenthes New York, offers this jacket in three special makeups. Two of the models feature a dark navy melton body with off-white leather sleeves, and one of them showcases a flurry of sewn-on GDP and NNY patches. The remaining jacket features a black monochrome palette, achieving a sense of subtlety. Large chenille patches, spelling out the store's name, appear on the back of all three models.

In 1922, spotting an opportunity to capitalize on the city’s booming shipping industry, San Francisco-based clothing manufacturer Sam Slater founded S. Slater and Sons. The company produced durable leather jackets and sold them to local dock workers who worked in cold and foggy weather. The company expanded its product line over the decades, manufacturing bomber jackets for the US Army and varsity jackets for California schools, borrowing the name “Goldenbear” from the state’s flag (and the mascot for the University of California).

In 1954, Sam sold the company to Berek Winter, a Holocaust survivor who worked his way up from a leather cutter, and another partner. Winter’s daughter, Schirley Zisman, who had been working at the company since 1972, is now the president of the company.

Goldenbear has maintained a strong relationship with its city, producing the fringe leather jackets so often seen during the 1960s, as well as jackets for the San Francisco Police Department and the World Series Champion Giants. The company has even made jackets for tech giants Cisco and Google.

Goldenbear’s longevity is a result of their meticulous craftsmanship. The company’s artisans, many of whom have worked at the company for over 20 years, hand-cut, sew, and finish every piece in their 200 Protretro Street factory located in San Francisco’s Mission District. Although time-consuming, this manual process allows the company to take on highly customized small-batch orders.

The GDP x Goldenbear Sportswear Varsity Jacket features several of these customizations, including applied chenille patches, chain stitching, tonal ribbing, and dark navy leather lining on the besom pockets. The leather is left untreated, allowing a natural patina to develop over time.

This jacket exemplifies the commitment of both Garment District Productions and Goldenbear to local production, showcasing the best of 'Made in the USA.'

The GDP x Goldenbear Varsity Jacket is available in-store and online at