Mister Freedom® “One-Zero (1-0) Jacket”, mfsc SS2023 “Frogsville x Saigon Classified” collection. Made in Japan


MF® 1-0 (One-Zero) Smock, black Mil-Specs BR nylon & French Lizard Camo cotton canvas.
SS2023 mfsc “Frogsville x Saigon CLASSIFIED” collection.
Made in Japan.

SS2023 Frogsville x Saigon CLASSIFIED”, the story:
This mfsc season blends two familiar original Mister Freedom® concepts, FROGSVILLE and an old flame, Saigon Cowboy.

Our FROGSVILLE saga is an original stylistic venture freely inspired by Vietnam-era US combat diver imagery, military rigger-made garments and period custom local tailor-made clothes, all thrown in the Mister Freedom® blender, where we translated 1940s-1970s references and vintage influences into modern day wearables.
This season, we are bringing in some 1950s French Indochina vibe to the Frogsville mix, and even adding a covert operation MACV-SOG twist!

For those into Military History, intel on that twist – i.e. the secret war happening “across the fence” in South East Asia (1964~1972) – was eventually declassified in the 1980s, and the existence and deeds of SOG unveiled. With the sworn-to-secrecy agreements signed by all SOG members lifted, testimonies of survivors (casualty rate was known to be “100%”) and proper official acknowledgment of the heroic actions of those units were finally made possible. SOG stories even made it to the video game market… no comment on that.

So, grab the popcorn, click here, here (amazing writing skills!), or here, …, and enjoy the rabbit hole.

For facts and visuals, check out author John Plaster’s books, and collector Jason Hardy’s series of well-documented printed photo essays, in coffee table book format. Listen to John Stryker Meyer’s Sogcast for real in the field stories, from the horses’ mouthes. And, of course, Nick Brokhausen‘s mandatory and hysterical “We Few” and “Whispers In The Tall Grass“.

As per MF® SOP, no replicas for us in this SS2023 line up, just (re)imagined garments that “might have been”, with the usual grain of salt and design liberties we like to take with the past.
Each pieces is easily workable into any classic wardrobe.

MF® ONE-ZERO Smock, the inspiration:

On this garment, we are taking design cues and visuals from original One-Zero jackets, as sported by SOG (Studies and Observations Group) Recon Team leaders (1-0, pronounced one-zero) during the Vietnam conflict. On recon missions, a team leader would be assisted by a 1-1 (one-one, American radio operator), a 1-2 (one-two, the third American), and a highly-skilled and combat-seasoned selection of 9-10 indigenous troops (mostly of the Montagnards tribe, or “Yards”, also affectionately referred to as “the little people” by their tall American counterparts.)

Back on point. Three basic types of these black nylon jackets apparently exist (two pull-over front styles, and one full-button style), all developed and designed by legendary Deputy Chief Ben Baker at his CISO (Counter-Insurgency Support Office) supply operation, based on the island of Okinawa, Japan (1963-?), where custom sterile (unmarked, unlabeled and untraceable) gear such as rucksacks, Jungle Boots (the Okinawa Boot that influenced our MF® Trooper design), black pajamas (Uncle Charles’ favorite), sweaters, knives, …, were produced in total secrecy.

CISO 1-0 jackets were initially conceived as light rain jackets to be worn on ops, but were deemed too noisy in the bush and ended up being mostly worn around camp as “party jackets”, with sewn-on unit patches, custom embroideries and morale patches. Needless to say, originals are ultra rare, and I’ve never seen one. To prevent a plethora of knock-offs from flooding the militaria market, collectors are reluctant – and rightfully so – to publish detailed photos of the front, back and inside of those garments. This helps keep fakes out of private collections.

The MF® 1-0 only borrows the name and vibe of CISO 1-0 jackets. Instead of an un-inspired attempt at replicating an original verbatim, or using a civilian sport windbreaker pattern (which the originals were based on), we decided to dissect a basic Belgium Paratrooper 1955 jump smock (a garment with roots in the British paratrooper Denison smocks of WW2), and then imagined the design of what a plausible fourth type 1-0 jacket could have looked like.

We heavily tweaked the smock pattern in order to make it work for our project. We removed the now-useless “beaver tail” (typical paratrooper jacket detail, only useful if you plan to jump off planes), re-adjusted pocket configuration for better functionality, substituted the half-zip with a six brass snaps closure, moved the cinch tabs to the natural waistline, adjusted the length to sit just below the natural waist, etc…

We left the jacket unlined, with all clean seams, another construction challenge. We opted for an inside shoulder yoke cut from contrasting ERDL camo, for that “use whatever fabric is at hand” local tailor or rigger vibe.

The resulting garment features a very intricate construction/design, another “tour de force” from pattern extraordinaire Fukutomi Sensei of Toyo Enterprises.

The MF® 1-0 jacket is available in two distinct fabric options:

The Black nylon version is obviously a direct nod at the vibe of the originals, without the unit patches, featuring a heavy 2×2 100% nylon twill, same shell fabric grade as BR’s (Buzz Rickson’s) vintage Mil-Specs USAF replica flight jackets.
This version is a functional pull-over style wind-proof jacket, for the outdoors, all kinds of sporting activities or just for looking ridiculously fabulous.

The Lizard (or Lezard) camo version, printed canvas fabric, 100% cotton, is a nod to 1950s French TAP (Troupes Aéroportées), previously mentioned with the 2015 release of the MF® TAP Lezard “Vanden” Jacket.
Note: This disruptive pattern is our mfsc interpretation of the classic French TAP47 “Lizard” camouflage (aka “Lézzard” or “Léopard” as the French call it), popular during the 1950s Algerian War as the fabric of choice for French Paratroopers (TAP).
Introduced in Sept. 1950 and inspired by WW2 field-tested British Denison smock camouflage (source: “Paras Français Algérie 1954-1962”, Histoire & Collection ISBN: 978-2-35250-164-0), many different versions of the Lizard camo exist, not unlike its Tiger Stripes American successor. A lot of intel in this thread.
We opted for the TAP47 pattern (tan/khaki background with green and brown horizontal brush strokes, adapted for tropical theater as opposed to the darker/greener version of the European ETO), as used for M51-M56 tents.

Our source fabric is a genuine vintage NOS French M1956 canvas quarter-shelter tent. After much internal debating, we opted for a plain weave canvas base this time, as opposed to the HBT of our previously-released Lézard printed fabric from 2015.

This lizard camo version is a functional outdoor pull-over style jacket, for the outdoors, for standing out in urban jungles, and for looking equally ridiculously fabulous.

The MF® 1-0 (One-Zero) Jacket is designed in California by MisterFreedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

Two options:
1) Heavy 2×2 100% nylon twill, black, as featured on BR’s (Buzz Rickson’s) vintage Mil-Specs USAF replica flight jackets.
Inside shoulder yoke: 100% cotton ERDL camo ripstop.

2) French Lizard camo, 100% cotton canvas, about 10 Oz. Printed TAP47 pattern, tan/khaki background with minimal bleed-through (= the reverse of the fabric is solid tan)
Inside shoulder yoke: 100% cotton ERDL camo ripstop.

* Style inspired by MACV-SOG 1-0 Recon Team leaders camp jackets.
* Garment pattern inspired by a vintage 1955 Belgium paratrooper jump smock, heavily edited.
* Re-fit “bat sleeve” arm pattern.
* Jacket length cut to sit just below the natural waist.
* Pull-over pattern, front snap closure.
* 6-snap front closure high neck rolls down for wind protection when fully snapped.
* Brass snaps for Lizard version, black-painted for nylon version.
* Six functional pockets: two front bottom patch pockets, two rear “map” patch pockets, two concealed chest pocket bags.
* Waist side cinch tabs, tripe snaps, with inside fabric reinforcement patches.
* Wrist cinch tabs, double buttons.
* Underarm ventilation stitched eyelets.
* Unlined, with ERDL camo shoulder yoke layering.
* OD HBT tape pocket opening inside reinforcements.
* All clean-seam “caballo” construction.
* Original mfsc Frogsville woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.

Both fabric options of the MF® 1-0 (One-Zero) Jacket come unwashed and are true-to-size after a cold rinse/machine spin dry/line dry.
We recommend the following simple initial process.

  • Cold soak garment for about 30mn in bathtub or washing machine, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Spin dry (spinning cycle) if using a washing machine.
  • Line dry/drip dry. 

I’m about 5’7 / 145 Lbs and opted for a SMALL, for a comfortable and fit silhouette that matches my own subjective aesthetics.

Machine wash (both canvas and nylon versions) on DELICATE, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Do not use the washer’s heavy-duty cycle. Using a heat dryer is also not recommended and may result in excessive and irreversible shrinkage and damage.

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®




Utility Trousers ‘Utes’ Experimental Camouflage, “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Spring 2015

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Cachou.


Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015


Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Hiland.


Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015


Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Utes Loland.


Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015




Utility Trousers, “Utes” Experimental Camouflage
Mister Freedom® “Saigon Cowboy” Spring 2015

For those into the jungle tuxedo, our MF® Experimental Camo is now available in fine looking trousers as well! For those lucky to have missed it, the account of how our original camouflage pattern came to be was summed up in the Evac Jak spiel.

For today’s story, who needs fiction when you have CIA declassified intel? Here is some of it, revisited…

The year is 1961.
American taxpayers have been unknowingly forking over $400 million to the French imperialist war effort in Indochina from 1945 to 1954 (thereby funding about 80% of the French Guerre d’Indochine), but we are still four years short of the ‘official’ engagement of the United States in Vietnam’s affairs of 1965.
In those years, some felt that if you didn’t stop the red devils (‘commies’) in the jungles of South East Asia, “they would have to be stopped in Honolulu or on the beaches of California.
President Kennedy, a man of his times and a believer in the efficiency of US Special Forces guerilla tactics, sends 400 tiger stripes-clad intensively trained men to the highlands of  South Vietnam in May 1961, in an effort to contain the spread of the National Liberation Front (NLF), China’s protégé…
Men in green berets immerse in the local culture, assess the situation and organize local resistance. Montagnards and local villagers receive training in jungle warfare. The enemy du jour? The Việt Cộng (Vietnamese Communists) guerrillas, VC (NATO’s Victor Charlie), or Charlie as often referred to by US boots on the ground.
A program called CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Group) and originally designed by the CIA has the task to assist in the transformation of local minorities into anti-communist paramilitary forces.
To more efficiently handle logistics, the highly-classified Counter Insurgency Support Office is established on the island of Okinawa, Japan in 1963. Headed by a mysterious individual working for the Department of Army by the name of Conrad Benjamin Baker, CISO was “assigned the mission of supporting the Special Forces programs through triservice depots and local procurement sources (…) Many items of clothing and equipment, for example, had to be obtained from markets in other countries because of size problems, composition of material, and equipment which had to be tailored to Montagnard measurements.” (source)

CISO acquired or produced ‘sterile’ (untraceable if captured) weapons, along with unmarked clothing and equipment to outfit US Special Forces or advisors heading out to South Vietnam. Locally screen-printed tiger stripe camo fatigues, “bowie” knives, VC-style black pajamas, rations, machetes, Seiko watches for recon teams, black 1-0 rain jackets, North Vietnamese Army-inspired rucksacks
Basically, if it proved needed in the field, CISO sourced it out in Asia, or designed it and manufactured it locally. At a fraction of the price compared to US-made mil-specs issued gear, and quicker delivery than its state-side bureaucracy-laden official channel alternative. What exactly went on is not well documented, but Ben Baker’s account of his involvement in the original design and R&D of the famous SOG knife is available for download in pdf form here.

I am no expert on the topic and more accurate facts are available to those interested in History preservation willing to do the research. The “SOG” book by John L. Plaster probably answers many questions, but I admit having only flipped through its photo album companion (ISBN 1-58160-058-5) due to time restriction.

(Above photos credited to the best of our knowledge and provided for educational purposes only.)

I had found the logistics side of this CISO story quite fascinating when originally coming across it. As usual, we didn’t take any of this literally in our ‘Saigon Cowboy‘ venture. Imagination took over authenticity. We didn’t go black pajamas, decided to improvise instead, mixing things up into a somewhat plausible garment. Or maybe our ‘utes’ are just a pretext for sharing a slice of ‘behind-the-scene’ History…

The pattern for the featured MF® trousers this season blends details of US Navy dungarees, Army chino trousers, M-51 field trousers, Marine Corps M1941 trousers… a joint operation if you will.
The term ‘utes’ was lifted from the old USMC expression “boots ‘n’ utes” (boots and utility uniform).

As mentioned with the Evac Jak, the MF® Exp. camo combines camouflage with a simple solid side. The solid side cachou color is a reference to the caramel-like color typical of 1930’s French military canvas gear. Although this fabric is designed to be reversible, the trousers are not. Three options are available for the Exp camo utilities:
a) Cachou out/HiLand in.
b) HiLand out (arid terrain, lighter)/cachou in.
c) LoLand out (jungle, darker)/cachou in.

The sizing S,M,L,XL applied to trousers is a nod to old military field pants featuring cinch tabs. Those are often tagged with a ‘size range’ as opposed to a precise measurement, reflecting the waist-adjusting pull tabs.
The “US” stamp stands for sizing following American standards, as opposed to the “A” stamp differentiating  Asian standards garments with CISO-issued gear.

Our ‘utes’ have a slimmer silhouette than typical standard-issue cargo pocket camo utilities, a reference to a silhouette favored by ARVN troops of the period.

The “Utes” are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.


Somewhat of an original Mister Freedom® camo pattern, double-side rotary screen printed (one side solid, one side camo), white 100% cotton Herringbone Twill (HBT) fabric base.
Fabric milled and printed in Japan.

* Inspired by vintage military utility trousers.
* Slimmer ‘ARVN’-type silhouette.
* Mid-high waisted.
* Front patch pockets locked in side seam, rear patch pockets, horizontal HBT.
* Side cinch tabs, mil-spec slide buckle.
* Flat black-painted Metal “13 Stars” tack waist button.
* Oxidized black donut-type fly buttons.
* Flat felled seams, chainstitch.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching.
* Made in Japan.

This garment comes raw/unwashed and will shrink to tagged size after an original cold soak/line dry. Further shrinkage to be expected with the use of hot water and heat dryer.
All three MF® Exp. Camo fabric options will shrink the same.
I decided to size down in those, as I had done with the Crew Pants of the Sea Hunt spring 2013 collection, and I am wearing a Small (30). When both fully cinched, the waist tabs can tighten the fit by about 2 inches, but a Medium looked too baggy on me. A tagged Small technically corresponds to a 30-32 inch waist.
Please refer to sizing chart for measurements reflecting a 30mn cold soak no agitation/light machine dry.

Mister Freedom Saigon Cowboy 2015

Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
Machine wash. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. We recommend turning garments inside out to avoid marbling of the fabric during the washing cycles.
Because the base HBT fabric is white before being printed, toning down of colors will naturally occur. This fading should not be considered a quest nor a defect, only the natural consequence of the wash/wear process over the years.

Available RAW/unwashed
Small (30)
Medium (32)
Large (34)
X-Large (36)
XX-Large (38)

RETAIL $229.95

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