Mister Freedom® “TERRENCE” Sweater, 100% 2-ply Cashmere. Crafted in Japan.

 

Mister Freedom® Terrence Sweater, 100% 2-Ply Cashmere.
mfsc FW2022 Hooper collection.

Made in Japan.

I am not a “collector” of anything tangible, but I have to confess a bit of an addiction to vintage cashmere sweaters.
Comes sweater season, knowing that racks will be filled with fresh stock of woolens, I can’t help raiding my local vintage stores to snag up what is actually old and fits me. Done that for years, so I do admit owning enough 50s-70s vintage specimen – in all colors and knit patterns, crew necks, V-necks, turtlenecks – to last me several lifetimes at this point!

I actually do wear them all, and often, so I don’t feel that much of a dodo just hoarding them as moth food. Being allergic to wool, cashmere keeps me cosy in the winter, cool for most of the rest of the year in Southern California, and is a perfect light-weight traveling companion. Also, a good cashmere sweater never goes out of style, and always feels like a cuddle!

For anyone in the market for affordable cashmere, I recommend sourcing from used clothing stores and flea markets.
Fast-fashion labor-cost-cutting specialists and massive landfill contributors Shein, H&M and the likes may offer cashmere sweaters for less than a $100 (with zero transparency and usually disposable), but one can definitely score perfect pre-owned luxury specimens (with zero carbon footprint the second time around) from vintage stores for a mere third of that.

When considering buying a brand new cashmere garment, one needs to do so responsibly. Tantalizing low retail prices flashed by fast-fashion outlets have recently ramped-up demand of raw material, with, as always, an impact on the whole manufacturing chain. Heard about masstige? (must read 2014 article from the Guardian on the subject!)

According to the BBC via this article, nomadic herders of cashmere goats make for about 40% of Mongolia’s scarce population, a country that supplied 20% of the global demand for raw cashmere fibers in 2020.
To paraphrase, cashmere goats are known for overgrazing, causing desertification, and loss of grassland means lower cashmere fiber output per goat. Wholesale goat hair prices fall due to fast fashion’s new dictate on market prices. Shortchanged herdsmen take up slack by buying more goats… and there you have it: an unsustainable environmental goat rodeo.

Takeaway from all that? 100% cashmere is and should stay a luxury fabric, and cannot (shouldn’t?) be cheap. Not in an elitist sense, but for the fact that if one is not paying the price at retail level, someone certainly is along the production process.

A quality cashmere sweater should be considered as an investment. If well cared-for and properly stored, cashmere is known to last a lifetime. Besides considering brand transparency, provenance (not just “imported”), proper garment pedigree, cost-per-wear should also play in making a wise decision.

With this caveat emptor in place, now on with this new Mister Freedom® TERRENCE fella!

Considering the fact that the fine insulating undercoat fibers of the Capra Circus Laniger average 19 microns in diameter – human hair is about 100 microns – it is fair to claim that the cashmere goat hair used in the knitting of our Mister Freedom® TERRENCE sweater is finer than frog hair.
This article, amongst many others on the interwebs, dives into what defines cashmere in the garment industry, along with other considerations.

As mentioned, I’m a seasoned vintage cashmere sweater hunter, but the pickier I get about only selecting the right one (proper period fit, cut, proportions, knit, ply, quality, condition etc), the trickier the sourcing gets. Kind of a wild goose chase. I know there are great traditional cashmere knitwear brands out there, producing fine sweaters, but I never had an urge to invest in a brand new one, as the cut/fit always feels too contemporary for me.

So, for similar reasons as to why our basic Mister Freedom® undershirts exist today (the USA-made Skivvies and Stanleys Ts were conceived as an alternative to having to endless scour thrift stores for used and wearable tubular knit undershirts that fit like old school Hanes or Fruit of the Loom), we decided to come up with our own old-school cashmere sweater!

With the help of our Sugar Cane Co partners, we sourced our cashmere yarns from “FUKAKI Woollen Textile Co“, one of the most reputable source in Japan, a mill founded in 1887, specialized in spinning and knitting cashmere since 1931, a member of the CCMI, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, and ISO 14001 certified.
Side note, we could have slashed costs considerably by going the China route for this project (watched Death By China?), but stuck to our MF® guns and commitment to solely manufacture in Japan and USA.

With a full vertically-integrated operation in Japan, Fukaki imports some of the finest raw white cashmere fibers from Inner Mongolia – white fibers being the most expensive compared to grey or brown, as they can be dyed – sourced from ethical producers/jobbers.
A team of Japanese textile experts then sorts, selects, grades, dyes, and spins the yarns, using unique manufacturing methods, knitting some of the most reputable cashmere sweaters in today’s fashion industry.

After a loooong journey of trying to ramp up our knowledge on technical cashmere manufacturing, actual production R&D, crucial decision-making on design and fabric in the midst of supply chain challenges and a pandemic, multiple sample making, constructive criticism, … , we eventually had the MF® TERRENCE figured out!

We opted for 2-ply cashmere (meaning two twisted yarns make one strand), settled on NM 2/26 (where NM is Metric Number, 2 being the ply, and 26 the length divided by the weight of the cashmere yarn, defining its fineness, the higher the number the finer, 26 being a classic magic number for warmth, minimal piling, and longevity of the garment, to the best of my knowledge), and high gauge knit (how tightly-knit and dense the fabric is, measured by the number of vertical rows per square inch, I believe 12 in our case.)

The resulting cashmere fabric of our TERRENCE feels chunky yet breathable, tightly knit with pretty good mechanical stretch recovery, and soft to the touch as Joe’s show hair! (“show hair” is a term coined by our dear friend Jillian)

For the type of knit, we wanted something more textured and “special” than plain knit, so we went with cable knit, specifically a classic “Twisted Twin Cable” pattern, with “Chunky Rib Stitch” cuffs and waistband pattern combo. All that inspired by a 1960s vintage specimen from my stash, sporting a “BRAININ of Bond St… Made in Scotland” label.
We chose V-neck for the collar pattern, with a classic depth that worked for our esthetics, not too deep, not too shallow, chef kiss.

The major MF® twist is in the cut and fit of our sweater. We wanted a “vintage” silhouette that would set apart the TERRENCE from his contemporaries: slightly shorter body complimenting one’s natural waist and classic rise trousers, long foldable 40s-50s style sleeve cuffs, and old school 4 inch-wide waistband.
Longer torsos and thin waistbands being the norm for modern contemporary sweaters, our baby is quite unique in its style class, and has definitely quelled my personal quest for hunting down the perfect vintage specimen!

Color wise, it was hard to settle on the right palette, but we eventually opted for classic black, “Yale” blue, and “Ice Blu” (a nod to our Ice Blu denim.)
A beautiful gold color was also part of our first choice, but was unfortunately unavailable at the time of production.

Lastly, the “Terrence” moniker is a reference to a famous Hollywood actor who sure liked his V-neck sweaters, on and off screen. His simple and timeless style is often an inspiration for us, as relevant then as now.

The MF® TERRENCE Sweater, 100% 2-Ply Cashmere, is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan from a well-established reliable source, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
Inspired by classic and timeless vintage V-Neck wool sweaters, 50s-60s casual styles with period fits and silhouettes.

FABRIC:
Luxurious 100% 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere, fine NM 2/26 yarn, sustainable sourcing.
Available in three classic colors: black, “Yale” blue, and “Ice Blu”.

DETAILS:
* Original pattern inspired by vintage classic cashmere sweaters and timeless period fashion.
* Old school 50s-60s silhouette.
* Luxurious 100% 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere, fine NM 2/26 yarn, sustainably sourced.
* Raw white wool material processed/dyed/knit in Japan.
* High 12 gauge knit.
* Classic depth V-neck style with ribbed stitch collar roll.
* “Chunky Rib Stitch” long foldable cuffs & wide waistband.
* Classic “Twisted Twin Cable” knit pattern.
* Panel knitting construction.
* Original mfsc woven rayon label.
* Crafted in Japan by a reputable source member of the CCMI.
* Produced in limited quantities.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® TERRENCE cashmere sweater comes ready-to-wear, it does not need any pre-soaking shrinking routine before wear.
At 5’7 ~145 Lbs, I opted for a MEDIUM, for an old school silhouette.

Please remember that the specific proportions and “vintage fit” of this original garment are part of its design and DNA. Our TERRENCE features a slightly shorter body (pairing well with classic high to mid-rise pants), wide ribbed cuffs and wide ribbed waistband (typical period details of 1940s-50s vintage specimen), setting it apart from the modern design twist of the vast majority of contemporary mens sweaters.

CARE:
Hand wash only, every 5 to 10 wears, according to one’s activities, and layering choices.
When laundering is needed :
* Soak in cold water for ~30mn, using biodegradable woolen mild detergent. Some use baby shampoo, Dirty Labs (USA), Eucalan (Canada), The Laundress (USA) etc…
* Hand agitate to loosen dirt, gently moving the sweater around.
* Gently squeeze sweater, fill sink with fresh cold water, rinse.
* Gently squeeze sweater again (do not wring!), lay sweater on clean white towel, flat surface (do not hang!)
* Let air dry, gently fluffing and flipping garment occasionally if necessary.

We do not recommend dry-cleaning as the harsh process tends to break the fine and fragile cashmere natural fibers.

At the end of your sweater season, properly launder your TERRENCE before storing it in a moth-proof environment (sealed bag/plastic bin) with natural herbal scents (cedar blocks/lavender bags etc.)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2023

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane msfc FW2022 FROGSVILLE-HOOPER LookBook Preview

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MF® Chino Utility Trousers ©2022

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MF® L/S Skivvy ©2022

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Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co mfsc FW2022 Preview:

Dear Friends,

Hope this finds you well, healthy, and in good spirits.
It is that time of the year…
Here is a preview of our Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane (mfsc) FW2022 collaboration, for your consideration.

Two main groupings this season:

First are a few additions to our “FROGSVILLE” theme, an original collection freely inspired by vintage UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) gear, Frogmen and US Navy SEALs, where we revisit US military rigger-made garments and exotic local-made garb. The mission is to translate 1940s-1970s references and vintage influences into modern day wearables. Our frogman is going on R&R (Rest and Recuperation) in-country this season!

This FW2022 chapter of “FROGSVILLE” consists of:

1) CHINO UTILITY TROUSERS, BR Chino twill (Japan)
* An original mfsc pattern introduced in 2015, revisited.
* Cut from Buzz Rickson’s vintage mil-specs 8.2 Oz. chino twill.

2) CRACKERJACK CPO Shirt (Japan)
* Inspired US Navy enlisted Dress Blue Jumpers recut and recycled by local tailors into civilian “souvenir” garments.
* 9.2 Oz. Melton wool.
* Navy blue / ivory white

3) MARINER SWEATER, roll-neck cable knit (Japan)
* Fisherman cable knit pattern.
* 100% cotton.
* Indigo blue / black

4a) PT Henley, original M.A.S.H. edition (USA):
* MF® original “Skivvy” knit tubular body, white.
* Contrast OD (Olive Drab) stitching, OD poplin button placket, green ox bone buttons.

4b) PT Henley, R&R edition (USA):
* MF® original “Skivvy” knit tubular body, white.
* Tonal stitching, blue chambray button placket, natural ox bone buttons.
Note: A two-pack PT Henley combo is available and comes in a special printed cardboard box packaging.

5) SHIP Cap, solid (USA)
* 6-panel pattern, snap-back, baseball cap profile, inspired by US Navy PX command ball caps.
* NOS Cotton/Linen blend selvedge denim, dark indigo blue.

6) L/S SKIVVY T-Shirt (USA)
* MF® original “Skivvy” knit Tubular body, white, long sleeve edition.
* Vintage style needle-out ribbed neckband & extended cuffs, ecru.

There it is.

Next grouping is “HOOPER”, an exciting new stylistic escapade for us, with visuals borrowed from the vintage world of motion picture stuntmen/stuntwomen, before CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) replaced adrenalin highs and broken bones.

To briefly set our FW2022 stage, the two main characters in Quentin Tarantino 2019 “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Rick Dalton played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cliff Booth played by Brad Pitt) were partially based on two Hollywood legends: actor Burt Reynolds (who actually started his career as a movie stuntman) and former paratrooper and professional stuntman Hal Needham.

Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham (1980)

In the 1970s, Burt Reynolds was one of America’s most popular comedy actors, and Hal Needham one of the highest paid Hollywood stuntmen. They were actually close friends in real life, and bachelor pad roommates for some 11 years.
After 46 broken bones, Needham, who often played stuntdouble for Reynolds, eventually got tired of jumping off buildings and crashing cars for a living. He decided to create his own  business (Stunts Unlimited), and dreamed of actually becoming a movie director. In 1977, he wrote the B-movie “Smokey and the Bandit”, and, to convince producers, enrolled his buddy Reynolds to star in it… Screen magic happened, and against all odds, the low budget “redneck buddy” movie became a hugely-popular hit in the USA. The flick remains today an iconic piece of period Southern culture Americana captured on film.
Following this success, Needham directed the movie “Hooper, The Greatest Stuntman Alive” (1978), a tribute to his profession: the stunt doubles, actual unsung heroes of the silver screen. Again, Burt Reynolds was the leading star, playing the fictitious stuntman Sonny Hooper.
Watch “The Bandit” documentary (2016) if you get a chance.

Our FW2022 mfsc “HOOPER” capsule collection blends vintage Hollywood professional stuntmen styles (yes, with an ounce of 70s macho men open collar shirts, aviators, sideburns and gold chains!), classic western wear, 1970s-80s automotive fashion (old school NASCAR garments, Wynn’s gear, 1980s “Auto Style” jackets etc), and classic vintage car/motorcycle racing promotional garments for gearheads.

To simplify things, the usual seasonal additions to our classic made-in-USA SPORTSMAN catalog have been incorporated into the HOOPER storyline, adding an earlier 1960s-70s McQueen in Palm Spring Desert vibe.
About a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, the actor’s Palm Springs home in the California desert was his get-away and escape from the busy Hollywood life. Hot days, cool nights, relaxing around the pool or desert racing, camping trips to the Sierra Madre Mountains… some of that lifestyle was famously documented at the time by photographers William Claxton or John Dominis (LIFE, 1963).
If McQueen often insisted on performing his own stunts, frowned by the studios considering risks and insurance liability, pros like Bud Ekins (the famous jump in “The Great Escape”, 1963) or Loren Janes (the moving train stunt in “The Hunter”, 1980) were never too far.

This adds a blend of cool 60s sportswear and vintage casual suiting to our action-packed HOOPER mix.

The FW2022 “HOOPER” line-up (made in USA & Japan) consists of:
1) SONNY Puffer Vest (JP):
* Reversible, quilted, 70s style synthetic fiber filling.
* Indigo corduroy x Blue denim / Indigo corduroy x brown denim.

2) ROADEO Puffer Jacket  (JP):
* Quilted, 70s style synthetic fiber filling.
* Orange x Gold nylon / Black x Brown nylon / 7 Oz. denim x chambray.

3) Five-panel FEED CAP (USA):
* 1970s style trucker hat, snap-back.
* NOS denim/white mesh.
* Solid / Patched.

4) DUDE RANCHER Shirt, Corduroy edition (JP):
* Our popular original western snap shirt pattern.
* Black / Ivory / Ruby Red / Indigo Blue.

5) CALIFORNIAN LOT.64 “OUTLAW”, Midnight denim (USA)
* The popular fit of our classic Lot.64 Californian five-pocket jeans, with western-style “frogmouth” pockets.
* 16 Oz. Midnight denim, dark indigo warp x black weft.

6) RANCH BLOUSE, “Frontier” Duck Canvas (USA)
* The classic MF® Ranch Blouse pattern in a USA-milled sturdy and dry 12 Oz. brown duck canvas.

7) Leather RANCH BLOUSE, “Bison” (USA)
* A leather version of our classic MF® Ranch Blouse pattern.
* Veg-tan cowhide, tea-core with a cognac color top coat.

8) WORKMAN Shirt, “Americana” stripes (USA)
* NOS 100% cotton woven stripe fabric, white with blue & red stripes.

9) BRONCO CHAMP Type II (USA)
* 1960s style cafe racer rider jacket, a revisited pattern from our 2009 MF® Bronco Champ original, USA-made this time.
* Cotton printed flannel lining.
* Natural veg-tan cowhide / Black tea-core veg-tan cowhide.

10) CALIFORNIAN LOT.674 “Groovy”, NOS Cone denim (USA)
* Our slimmest five-pocket jeans, slightly tapered leg, 1960s vibe silhouette, button fly.
* NOS 14 Oz. Cone blue denim.
* Groovy NOS cotton printed canvas pocketing!

11) Cashmere V-Neck TERRENCE” Sweater (Japan)
* A classic menswear staple garment, revisited with 50s—60s style extended cuffs/waistband.
* Fancy cable knit pattern.
* 100% Mongolian Cashmere.
* NOT made in China, and in very limited quantities.
* Black / Yale Blue / Ice-Blu

12) CONTINENTAL Sportcoat & Trousers (USA)
* NOS 100% cotton “Bossa” 3×1 cross hatch denim, 11 Oz.
* Lining/Pocketing: NOS 100% cotton woven stripe fabric, white with blue & red stripes.

13) CALIFORNIAN LOT.674 and COWBOY Jacket, Corduroy Edition (USA)
* Our slimmest five-pocket jeans (slightly tapered leg) & classic trucker denim jacket pattern, for a 1960s-70s vibe silhouette.
* Vintage 60s sportswear-style 14 wale corduroy, T/C (20/80) blend.
* Brown cord: Lot.674 and Cowboy Jacket.
* Indigo Blue cord: Lot.674 and Cowboy Jacket.

Both our original FROGSVILLE and “HOOPER” FW2022 collections are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and exclusively manufactured in Japan and USA in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, in limited quantities.
Please note that the lookbook/preview features show samples, not necessarily reflecting quality/details/labeling of the upcoming production.

Voila!

As always, besides the classic vintage style references, the common thread in all these original garments is the Mister Freedom® on-going commitment to ethical manufacturing, original designs, and resistance to fast fashion, with styles that will easily incorporate into any existing classic wardrobe.

Thank you very much for your renewed support.

Love from Sunny California,

c

🌞✌🏼👴🏼🌴