Founded in 1959, Alpha Industries originally manufactured flight jackets for the Department of Defence. Fast forward 60 years, Alpha Industries makes a play for the Canadian market in a big way—fusing fashion, function and history. Originally only available to to Canada via Urban Outfitters and through their website, Alpha Industries hopes to gain a bigger marketshare by selling their apparel through a wider range of boutiques.
Alpha Industries is no wallflower when it comes to streetwear. Collaborating with hype brands such as Opening Ceremony and Vetements, it’s no wonder why Alpha Industries is a favourite of celebrities, including the Hadids, Kardashians, and Jenners. Often covet-worthy these limited edition collaborations help fuel the hype-train that often have buyers lining up to get their hands on one of these iconic jackets.
The original flight jacket, MA-1, silhouette of that of the classic bomber. Often imitated but never duplicated, the MA-1 finds its value behind its historic details and high quality craftsmanship. Small details that reflect Alpha Industries rich history and attention to detail include:
- Pen caps: Not just for Urkel, pen caps are embedded to the pockets because fighter pilots used to find that their pens leaked ink all over their jackets since caps were not invented until a later date.
- Reversible orange liner: It’s bright and eye-catching, meant to be worn outward for pilots in distress to attract attention.
- American Flag: Also on the reversible side of the MA-1 is a large American flag with 11 different languages informing those you may encounter that you’re a friend, not a foe, and that aiding you will yield a reward.
- “Remove Before Flight” ribbon key chain: Several safety checks are required by fighter pilots before takeoff and this was indicated by bright red “remove before flight” tags. Once a pilot had the required number of tags they could rest assure that all safety requirements were met and they could takeoff.
Despite the bomber being a classic style the bomber as we know it today as a trendy staple piece found a surge in popularity recently due to Kanye West around the time of his Yeezus tour. Donning a customer MA-1 flight jacket from Alpha Industries there is no denying the Kanye effect of it all.
The Sbf Take
Truth be told, I found this style quite intimidating when I first saw it. I often compare my style to that of a toddler allowed to dress herself, fancying my aesthetic to be more of a crafted collection of cute and colourful instead of Alpha Industries’ effortlessly cool. While other people may be able to pull of oversized and minimalistic style I find that these trends tend to make me look more frumpy than cool.
It must have been all in my head because the first time I wore I received endless compliments with most people asking me how they could get their hands on one too. I let the print to do all the talking while Aurora added some fun patches to her all black liner to add a bit of interest to hers.
Trends may come and go, but due to the functionality and practicality the bomber, Kanye or no Kanye, is here to stay.
Event photos by Brandon Artis.