The street style piece de resistance of the season wasn't designed by current fashion darlings Demna Gvasalia or Alessandro Michele. Instead, it came from any number of local army surplus stores: the MA-1 bomber jacket, which was first created in the 1950s to shield United States air force pilots from inclement weather.
It's little wonder that the bomber, identifiable by its bright orange interior, has made a splash, given the resurgence of utilitarian street wear and the precedence placed on style that's also functional.
“I think it’s due to the rise of street wear that the bomber is having a moment,” said street style photographer Adam Katz Sinding. Vetements, Gucci, even Dries Van Noten have all shown their takes on the bomber. “We see it more than before as it’s disseminated through the big houses."
But the original bombers, which come in olive green, black, and navy, from authentic military apparel manufacturers have garnered more attention from celebrities and industry insiders than their luxury counterparts.
The nylon jackets, which retail as low as Rothco’s $35.99 to Alpha Industries heavily insulated one at $140, have had an overwhelming front row presence this season, spotted on editors and celebrities such as Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner. The jacket continues to prove its staying power, as evidenced by designers like Kanye West, whose black and orange Yeezus tour jacket is an approximation, and Paris-based collective Vetements, who will re-release their oversized model (constructed from multiple vintage bombers) for fall.
After all, who says utilitarian can’t be chic?
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