Mister Freedom® “Naval Clothing Tailor” Denim PEACOAT, 14 Oz. “Okinawa 301” fiber denim, FW2023 msfc “Survival School” Edition, made in Japan.

 

The Grandfather! Original 2008 Mister Freedom® “Naval Clothing Tailor” No6284 Peacoat, “301 Okinawa” denim.
©2008 (For illustration ONLY)

Mister Freedom® Denim PEACOAT… it’s BACK! ©2023

How do I get me one of ’em peacoatshh, Pops?” The Joe Greene ©2023

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co “Naval Clothing Tailor” Denim PEACOAT, “301 Okinawa” fiber denim edition.
FW2023 mfsc “Survival School
Made in Japan.

Our initial take on classic US Navy 10-button peacoats was the “Naval Clothing Tailor” denim Peacoat (aka mfsc 6284 Coat, Deck, Utility), released back in the sunny Spring of 2008.
The original pattern was adapted from a vintage US Coast Guard (USCG) 1920s melton wool peacoat from our archives. That first issue featured a sugarcane fiber denim shell (14 ½ Oz. “SC301 Okinawa” denim), paired with an indigo/white striped cotton ticking lining. Mine, pictured above, sadly got stollen from a display years ago.

Using the same classic pattern, we thought of going MF® OG this season, back to the early days of “Heritage Fashion”… So, please welcome the anticipated latest addition to our naval-inspired jacket family, the Grandson of our 2008 Grandpa, the FW2023 MF® “Okinawa” Denim Peacoat!

True to its ancestor, the shell fabric of the 2023 “Naval Clothing Tailor” Denim PEACOAT is made of Sugar Cane Co’s proprietary “SC301 Okinawa” denim, a dark indigo selvedge denim blend of 50/50 recycled sugarcane fibers and cotton fibers (the ratio has evolved through seasons of production, according to raw material availability), a neppy and dry 14 Oz. thing of beauty with rewarding fading potential.

For the body lining, matching our recent Barnstormer SPECS, we opted for an all-cotton golden brown mid-wale corduroy — a reference to the hand warmer pocket bags on vintage 30s-50s USN peacoats, before the Quartermaster decided on the cheaper pocketing fabric option of an unbleached-white cotton twill.

The sleeve lining is cut from Mil-Specs OG-107 cotton-back sateen material, also an expensive and fancy fabric milled in Japan, just because we like to keep the bling on the inside sometimes.

The choice of black leather accents for pocket welt/stops is borrowed from vintage civilian 1930s “Duck Hunting Coats” out of the Montgomery Ward, Sears Roebuck or LL Bean catalogs. More on that background here. With natural wear and a few nautical miles on this NCT Peacoat, the patina and attractive color/texture contrast between the indigo denim and the black horsehide trims should get interesting on Fridays.

The “modified” double labeling — recurring branding for our msfc “Survival School” collection — is a reference to period US military experimental clothing, and a respectful nod to the little-known Quartermaster Research Facility (aka Natick Army Labs), a US Department of Defense organization located in Natick, Massachusetts. The “CLOTHING & TEXTILE RESEARCH UNIT” has been tasked with designing and developing anything from new uniforms/gear/fabrics/camo patterns/etc for the US military since 1952.

The MF® 2023 “Naval Clothing Tailor” Denim PEACOAT in “SC301 Okinawa” fiber denim is designed in California, USA, by Mister Freedom®, and made in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
An original MFSC pattern, freely inspired by 1910s-30s early US Navy/US Coast Guard wool peacoats.

FABRIC:
Shell: Sugar Cane Co’s proprietary “SC301 Okinawa” denim, 14 Oz. dark indigo selvedge denim blend of 50/50 recycled sugarcane fibers and cotton, neppy, dry and prickly, white with green line selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
Body lining: Soft 100% cotton mid-wale corduroy, golden brown shade, milled in Japan.
Sleeve lining: 100% cotton OG-107 sateen, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Classic 1910s~1930s US Navy & US Coast Guards melton wool peacoat pattern and construction.
* Ten-button front closure.
* Early USN type ’13 stars’ fouled anchor design buttons.
* Four outside pockets: two ‘hand warmer’ slash pockets and two flap closure hip pockets, all lined with golden brown corduroy.
* Inside chest pocket and traditional ‘cigarette’ pocket (resized to fit an average smartphone, so that you keep it tucked while you drive.)
* Leather arrowhead pocket stops/pocket welt reinforcements, black tea-core horsehide.
* Detachable chin strap (displaying either fabric if left dangling, or concealed if buttoned under the collar.)
* Traditional zig-zag pattern under-collar reinforcement stitching.
* “Modified” double labeling, original MF® and mfsc woven/printed labels.
* Cotton-wrap poly thread tonal stitching.
* Mister Freedom® woven rayon “MFSC NAVAL CLOTHING TAILOR” label topped with “EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH UNIT” collection-specific printed label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® 2023 “Naval Clothing Tailor” Denim PEACOAT ships raw/unwashed, and will shrink to intended/tagged size after the following initial process:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Line dry.
  • Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases, then hang until fully dry.

We recommend getting your usual size in mfsc jackets/coats. Do not size down as the arm hole opening may become an issue. The FW2023 “Okinawa” Denim Peacoat feels a bit tighter in the chest than its Barnstormer companion.
I’m ~5’7 – 140 lbs and went for a 38 in this “301 Okinawa” denim peacoat model, even though I tend to navigate between 36 (Small) and 38 (Medium) lately.
Please check out our measurement chart and compare with a similar garment you own that fits you well. To dial in your size, also consider your layering preferences.

MF® crew sizing recs:
CL (5’7 ~ 140 lbs): I opted for a 38 (MEDIUM), trim fit with tight arm holes.
John (6’ ~ 170 lbs): 40 (LARGE)
Ivan (5’9 ~ 160 lbs): 38 (MEDIUM)
Enoch (6’ ~ 153 lbs): 38 (MEDIUM)

CARE:
DO NOT MACHINE WASH.
This garment is too heavy and voluminous for a regular home washer, even one boasting “Heavy Duty” settings. A machine wash cycle will either ruin the jacket, the machine, or both.
Hand wash highly recommended: Fill a tub with cold water, add a minimal dose of eco-friendly detergent, immerge the garment fully, let soak for about 30mn, and delicately rub. Rinse, hang to dry.
Spot cleaning with a wet rag will usually work for minor stains.

Professional eco-friendly dry-cleaning is also an option, but may alter the indigo color.

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® BARNSTORMER Jacket, “USN Khaki” Jungle Cloth, FW2023 msfc “Survival School”, made in Japan.

 

Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co BARNSTORMER Jacket, “USN khaki” jungle cloth edition.
FW2023 mfsc “Survival School
Made in Japan.

We have released quite a few peacoat styles through the years…

Our initial take on classic US Navy 10-button peacoats was the “Naval Clothing Tailor” denim Coat, Deck, Utility (mfsc 6284), back in Spring 2008.
The original pattern was adapted from a vintage US Coast Guard 1920s melton wool peacoat. That first issue was released in a sugarcane fiber denim shell (14 ½ Oz. “301” Okinawa denim), paired with an indigo/white striped cotton ticking lining. Going through old documents recently, I realized that in 2008, only 39 pieces were produced in Japan for the US market, and an unknown small amount for Japan. For the OGs who still have theirs, they’re pretty rare! Mine sadly got stollen from a display years ago.

Followed a few variations on the same basic jacket pattern, all with new creative exotic names:

* Fall 2008: MF® Peacoat “Liberty Issue” (mfsc 6284MD), same “301” denim shell but with a wool navy blanket lining, and with a classic naval “Liberty” treatment (concealed rainbow stitching and mermaid patches.)
* Fall 2010: MF® “Midnight” P-Jacket, 16 Oz. “Midnight” twill (indigo warp x black weft), 10 Oz. indigo/white cotton pincheck lining.
* Fall 2015: MF® Caban Peacoat, indigo warp x black weft twill shell, HBT French Lizard camo lining.
* Fall 2016: MF® Waterfront Coat, natural linen/cotton HBT shell, Troy blanket lining.
* Fall 2017: MF® MAC Jacket, 9 Oz. Mil-Specs OG-107 cotton sateen, red plaid printed flannel lining.
* Fall 2020: MF® Roamer Car Coat, black 14 Oz. wide-wale corduroy, Troy blanket lining.

For Fall 2023, we are introducing a new member to that MF® peacoat family: The MF® BARNSTORMER Jacket.

This bad boy is the love child between a 1920s USCG 10-button peacoat, a 1940s USN jungle cloth N-1 Deck Jacket, and vintage civilian 1930s “Duck Hunting Coats” out of the Montgomery Ward, Sears Roebuck or LL Bean catalogs.

For the story, those civilian khaki brown hunting coats/Mackinaw coats are also referred-to as “China Marine” jackets (as worn by the 4th Marines stationed in China mid-1920s to 1941), or “Iceland” jackets (as worn by First Marine Provisional Brigade stationed in Iceland circa 1941.)
Interestingly, that hunting coat style also made it on deck of USN ships in the 1940s, since several outdoor clothing contractors supplied the Navy with winter gear on the onset of WW2. See famous LIFE Magazine photos of sailors sporting a range of foul weather jackets.
We have seen a few vintage civilian specimen pass through the MF® HQ doors, and they usually get snagged pretty quickly.
From those 1930s hunting coats, we only borrowed the leather pocket welt/stops accents, an attractive color/texture contrast between the khaki jungle cloth and black horsehide trims.

The inspiration we drew from authentic 1940s US Navy N-1 deck jackets is the vintage Mil-Specs shell fabric, a sturdy and windproof 14 Oz. Jungle Cloth (aka cotton grosgrain) in its mid-40s “USN Khaki” color. This specific “olive” shade is un-issued, i.e. darker than many contemporary khaki N-1 fabrics with a lighter sun-bleached look.

For the lining of our BARNSTORMER, we stayed “plausible” and went with an all-cotton golden brown mid-wale corduroy, a reference to the hand warmer pocket bags on vintage 30s-50s USN peacoats, before the Quartermaster decided on the cheaper pocketing fabric option of an unbleached-white cotton twill.

As sleeve lining, we chose a vintage Mil-Specs OG-107 cotton sateen material, just because there’s nothing like discovering fancy expensive fabric on the inside of a garment!

The term “barnstormer” is a reference to the early days of aviation when pilots in open cockpits had to resort to all kinds of winter gear, often long and bulky leather coats not yet specifically designed for flying. Legend has it that strafing though an open Mid-West barn was a famous acrobatic circus act for a barnstorming stunt flier in the 1920s, which may, or may not, have been safer than the death-defying wing-walking routine…

The “modified” double labeling — recurring branding for our msfc “Survival School” collection — is a reference to period US military experimental clothing, and a respectful nod to the little-known Quartermaster Research Facility (aka Natick Army Labs), a US Department of Defense organization located in Natick, Massachusetts. The “CLOTHING & TEXTILE RESEARCH UNIT” has been tasked with designing and developing anything from new uniforms/gear/fabrics/camo patterns/etc for the US military since 1952.

Will all the above as pedigree, the Mister Freedom® BARNSTORMER definitely ended-up looking like a “could-have-been”, and may puzzle a few in the next generations of vintage buyers, should a well-worn specimen resurface at a flea market in the year 2070!
Buyer: “Dude, is this like, old?”
Seller: “Dude, it’s from the 20s.

The MF® BARNSTORMER Jacket is designed in California, USA, by Mister Freedom®, and made in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
An original MFSC pattern, freely inspired by early 1910s-30s US Navy/US Coast Guard wool peacoats, vintage military deck jackets and hunting coats.

FABRIC:
Heavy-duty 100% cotton “jungle cloth”, vintage Mil-Specs 14 Oz. grosgrain, 1940s USN khaki shade, milled in Japan.
Body lining: Soft 100% cotton mid-wale corduroy, golden brown shade, milled in Japan.
Sleeve lining: 100% cotton OG-107 sateen, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* Classic 1910s~1930s US Navy & US Coast Guards melton wool peacoat pattern and construction.
* Ten-button front closure.
* Early USN type ’13 stars’ fouled anchor design buttons.
* Four outside pockets: two ‘hand warmer’ slash pockets and two flap closure hip pockets, all lined with golden brown corduroy.
* Inside chest pocket and traditional ‘cigarette’ pocket (resized to fit an average smartphone, so that you keep it tucked-in while you drive.)
* Black tea-core horsehide leather arrowhead pocket stops and pocket welt reinforcements and contrast accents.
* Detachable chin strap (displaying either fabric if left dangling, or concealed if buttoned under the collar.)
* Traditional zig-zag pattern under-collar reinforcement stitching.
* “Modified” double labeling, original MF® and mfsc woven/printed labels.
* Cotton-wrap poly thread tonal stitching.
* Mister Freedom® woven rayon “MFSC NAVAL CLOTHING TAILOR” label topped with “EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH UNIT” collection-specific printed label.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® BARNSTORMER Jacket ships raw/unwashed, and will shrink to intended/tagged size after the following initial process:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Line dry.
  • Wear briefly before fully-dry to set creases, then hang until fully dry.

We recommend getting your usual size in mfsc jackets/coats. Do not size down as the arm hole opening may become an issue.
I’m ~5’7 – 140 lbs and went for a 38 in this jungle cloth peacoat model, even though I tend to navigate between 36 (Small) and 38 (Medium) lately.

Please check out our measurement chart and compare with a similar garment you own that fits you well. To dial in your size, also consider your layering preferences.

MF® crew sizing recs:
CL (5’7 ~ 140 lbs): I opted for a 38 (MEDIUM), for a comfortable fit to allow layering.
John (6’ ~ 170 lbs): 40 (LARGE)
Ivan (5’9 ~ 160 lbs): 38 (MEDIUM)
Enoch (6’ ~ 153 lbs): 38 (MEDIUM)

CARE:
DO NOT MACHINE WASH.
This garment is too heavy and voluminous for a regular home washer, even one boasting “Heavy Duty” settings. A machine wash cycle will either ruin the jacket, the machine, or both.
Professional eco-friendly dry-cleaning is recommended should heavy soiling occur. Spot cleaning with a wet rag is an option for minor stain.
Additionally, the initial soaking process can be repeated, with a minimal dose of eco-friendly detergent added to the bath to hand wash the garment.

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® “NOUVELLE VAGUE” Slacks & Continental Sportcoat, NOS cotton-linen crosshatch “PLAYER” denim. Made in USA.

 

Mister Freedom® “NOUVELLE VAGUE” Slacks & Continental Sportcoat, NOS cotton-linen crosshatch “PLAYER” denim.
mfsc SS2023 “Sportsman” catalog.
Made in USA
.

Mister Freedom® “NOUVELLE VAGUE” slacks and Continental Sportcoat… le comeback!
We just cut our latest trouser pattern in an mfsc old flame, the swingiest denim twill this side of a Monte Carlo black jack table, the dance hall hustler’s favorite, none other than the “PLAYER” denim!

The ‘Player’ is a 10.5 Oz. crosshatch denim twill, light indigo moss blue-green color, a slubby weave of cotton-linen blend (linen or similar natural vegetal fiber), with a 1960’s ‘sharkskin’-type sheen, milled in Europe. We first introduced this fancy fabric with the “Player” Continental three-piece Suit.

Recently released in NOS Slate Grey and Charcoal Grey denim twills, our “Nouvelle Vague” slacks pattern is inspired by an unusual pair of vintage late 50s/early 60s French casual cotton twill pants from our archives, probably tailor-made according to the simple seam construction, and the fact that they bore no branding. We revisited the design to merge the vibes of dressy slacks and denim jeans.
The frogmouth front pockets, single rear flap pocket, extended tab waistband with snap closure, narrow belt loops, choice of fabrics and unpretentious suiting vibe all blend together to give the trousers a “French Riviera” casual 1950s-60s fashion flair.
We kept the overlock inseam/outseam/seat construction of the vintage custom-made original, for easy fit alterations with a single-needle machine. See the original twill pants below, with a bit of the R&D process.

To add an irresistible 60’s-70’s ‘leisure suit’ touch to our “Player” set, we enhanced the construction with an orange/yellow combo contrast stitching. Now that’s fly, borderline funky fresh.
The lining/pocketing are also New Old Stock finds, fancy woven stripe 100% cotton twill for the Sportcoat, and 100% cotton “Americana” woven stripe for the slacks. Two distinct fabrics, but similar, conveying an old-school hustling tailor inclination to use-up all available lining fabrics on hand.

The ‘Player” Continental sportcoat and Nouvelle Vague slacks are offered separately, but are available as a specially-priced “Huggy Bear” set, for the stylish high-rolling good fella keen on the Las Vegas meets French Riviera look.

The MF® Continental Sportcoat and Nouvelle Vague Slacks “Player” Edition suit is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in California, USA, by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
All original mfsc (Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co) sportcoat, and trousers patterns, a classic blend of 1950s, 60s and 70s vibes and silhouettes, mixing European and American vintage styles.

FABRIC:
NOS 10.5 Oz. crosshatch denim twill, light indigo moss blue-green color, slubby weave of cotton-linen blend (linen or similar natural vegetal fiber), with a 1960’s ‘sharkskin’-type sheen, milled in Europe.
Lining/pocketing: Mix of New Old Stock fancy woven stripe, 100% cotton.

DETAILS:

“PLAYER” Continental SPORTCOAT:
* Unstructured silhouette.
* Lightweight and soft, perfect traveling companion.
* High 4-button front, classic notched lapel.
* Amber color corrozo wood butons.
* Half shoulder floating lining.
* Side hip patch pockets with flaps, single chest patch pocket.
* Concealed (passport) chest pocket.
* Pocket openings reinforced on the inside with backing fabric.
* Form-fitting no-vent back panel.
* Contrast orange 100% cotton stitching, clean caballo flat-felled seam construction, no open edges or overlock.
* Made in USA.

“PLAYER” Nouvelle Vague SLACKS:
* Vintage French 1950s-60s fashion, casual yet elegant sportswear vibe.
* Straight leg period silhouette.
* “Frogmouth” front pockets.
* Button fly, corrozo wood buttons.
* Extended waistband tab with snap waist closure, featuring original MF® branded brass snap button.
* Single rear welt pocket with buttoned flap.
* Slim belt loops, will accommodate 1¼ wide MF® x VEB belts.
* Fancy woven stripe pocketing.
* Flat front & darted rear panel for an attractive top block side profile.
* Overlock inseam/outseam/seat construction.
* Tonal stitching.
* Tailor shop-style unfinished overlocked leg bottom, to suit your cuffing preferences.
* Original “The SPORTSMAN” woven rayon label on rear waistband, concealed under the belt.
* Made in USA.

SIZING/FIT:
This
 explains how we size and measure our garments.
The MF® “Player” Continental Sportcoat and Nouvelle Vague Slacks both come raw/unwashed.
We recommend this usual routine before wearing the garment, as the tagged size reflects the measured size after going through this simple process:

  • Cold soak in a tub for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Line dry.

Both sportcoat and slacks are considered true-to size. The “Player” denim fabric and the stripe cotton lining are pretty much sanforized, but puckering and roping resulting from the rinsing process will slightly alter the fit and drape.
Please refer to sizing chart for post cold soak measurements.
At 5’7 and ~145 lbs, I opted for a comfortable size 38 Sportcoat and slim W30 slacks (some of the fit photos feature a W31 prototype.)

Trousers hemming: After the initial soak/hang dry process, we recommend settling down on the final length of the bottom hem after gently wearing the trousers around the house a bit. The crispy cotton-linen fabric tends to naturally bunch/wrinkle and pull the leg up slightly. Letting this specific fabric react to your own body for an hour or so will allow you to decide on a proper classic leg break that works for you.
I went with a DIY blind (hand) stitch 1¼ inch hem.
Make sure you fully rinse the garment before you commit to cropping the leg to your cuffing preference. Style-wise, we recommend hemming and not “roll-up” cuffing.

CARE:
Machine wash on DELICATE when laundering is needed, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Refrain from using the “heavy-duty” cycle setting on your home washer. Using a heat dryer is also not recommended and may result in excessive and irreversible shrinkage.

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 Tailor Toyo original California State tribute “CALI-JAN” souvenir jacket, Limited Edition, crafted in Japan, 2023

 

 

 

MF® “CALI-JAN” souvenir jacket
Mister Freedom® x Tailor Toyo 2023
Made in Japan

Our initial collaboration on an old-school souvenir-type jacket with “Tailor Toyo” was the Party Jacket” (2015 Saigon Cowboy collection, aka Charlie-gate), followed by the “Mururoa Jacket” (mfsc 2016 Anniversary Collection) and moon landing with the “Apollo ’69 Jacket” in 2017.

Tailor Toyo is undeniably the world’s most legit manufacturer of traditional  Sukajan (スカジャン) garments, i.e. the flashy embroidered jackets everyone into heritage fashion is familiar with today. See my 2015 ramblings for a deep dive into the historical background of those jackets.
For those noticing the “Kosho & Co” paper tags, this was an old established Japanese fabric trading company. It merged with TOYO Enterprises around 1965. Tailor Toyo took over Kosho’s souvenir jackets’ business at the time, and has been considered the most legit producer of traditional and authentic Sukajan since.

The name “Sukajan” originated in the port of YOKOSUKA, Japan, sometime in the late 1940s. After becoming a U.S. Navy base in 1946, local traditional silk embroidery tailors started seeing a demand for customized uniforms, eventually leading to creating flashy original custom-made jackets (jumpers) for military personnel stationed in occupied Japan. The jackets, featuring elaborate Japanese motifs and at-times boasting unit/branch pride blended with local flavor, were intended to be worn off-duty, or as bring-home souvenirs. Kid-size Sukajan that pop up on the vintage market once in a while are surviving examples of happy  “Daddy’s home!” moments.

This customization practice was probably inherited from the old naval tradition of personalizing one’s gear (hand-painted sea bags with mermaids and the likes, concealed hand-stitched “branding” eventually evolving into the concept of “liberty cuffs”), and taken to the next level by the US Asiatic Fleet touring exotic locations where skilled tailors offered their services for affordable bespoke uniforms.

After some sustained popularity with post-WWII American troops stationed in Europe and with US Armed Forces during the Korean War (1950-53), the Sukajan made a splashy comeback with boots on the ground involved in the Vietnam conflict (1954-75).

Those 1960s-era South-East Asia Sukajan are also referred-to as Viet-Jan (aka Vietjan, or vietojam, whatever works phonetically in Japan.) These are often way less PC than their Japanese forefathers. Most vintage VietJan convey the gung-ho vibe of period military morale patches, not exactly everyone’s cup of tea – or rather “half oat milk/half regular organic milk iced cappuccino, I appreciate you, thanks” – in today’s new paradigm of softer “cancel culture”.

Embroidery designs to choose from in local shops were many while in country. The catchy rocker “When I die I’ll go to Heaven because I’ve spent my time in Hell” was a popular classic, often riding atop a colored map of South East Asia, with North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia embroidered in four primary colors. Thailand got lost, blending in the color of the jacket base fabric.

The style of embroidery techniques and jacket bodies greatly differed according to the Theater of Operation. Japan-made Sukajan mostly flashed elaborate machine-made embroideries using fine silk threads on rayon acetate or velvet bodies, and were often reversible. A more discreet “B” side was an option the wearer might find better suited for specific occasions or civvy crowds. Vietjan tended to feature hand-stitched cotton yarn embroideries on a cheap black cotton twill body, or a GI-issued ERDL poncho liner, and lined with whatever recycled fabric was around. Authentic vintage Sukajan and Vietjan are highly collectible today, and valuable slices of History no one can/should erase.

For our CALI-JAN project, we wanted to merge both vintage 1950s Sukajan and 1960s Vietjan vibes, and, for the graphics, remove military references while paying tribute to our beautiful State of California… Simple task. After a bit of creative R&D, eureka, we had our “could have existed” design plan!

We decided to go with a map of California as the main rear panel statement, but in the style of Vietjan four-color maps. Versions of this idea had been explored before, but, from what I quickly gathered on the interwebs, using cheap silkscreening prints or computer-operated embroidery machines producing mass volumes, rather than the authentic period style hand-operated machines that actually required an operator’s dedication and skills. This artisanal way of applying embroidered motifs is sometimes referred-to as “free embroidery” (i.e. not automatic/programmed), where the operator moves the fabric panel under the fine needle in order to fill-in sections/render shading/change direction etc.
Anyone who’s tried their hands at old-school chain-stitching with an antique Cornely or Singer 114w103, although a totally different process and set of skills, may relate to the tediousness and challenge.

On the graphic front, we had room to play, these are the references for the “A” side:

First off, blue and gold is not only a traditional and desirable color combo for 1950s vintage rayon acetate Sukajan, but they also happen to be the official colors of the State of California.

On the chest stands the mighty JOE GREENE, our 12 yo Toy Poodle, 8 1/2 pounds of pure resilience and badassness, venerated patriarch of the MF® family.

“Cowabunga, dude” is an expression associated with vintage surfing culture (surf is the actual official sport of the State of CA), a dated line roughly meaning “cool, man!” while conveying surprise. Joe (like Charlie) don’t surf, but he’s 100% California native.

The Joshua tree is an endangered and very rare species of US Southwest desert trees, symbol of JT National Park and the Mojave Desert, and CA desert culture. Don’t mess with them.

For the map graphic, there are several ways to split California in sections, some politically controversial. We opted for the four main natural geographical regions. Yellow is the Pacific Coast, blue are the mountainous areas, green the Central Valley, and red the desert.

We playfully only selected a few cities to highlight:
* Sacramento: makes sense as our State Capital.
* San Francisco: not referenced on the map by its usual Golden Gate Bridge but rather by Frank Bullitt’s 1968 “highland green” Ford Mustang GT.
* Bakersfield: small town, home of the Bakersfield Sound (a specific Country & Western music style/sound), pinned on the map by Buck Owens’ Mosrite Guitar-made patriotic red/white/blue acoustic, brought to fame on his popular TV show Hee-Haw.
* Los Angeles: of course, Mister Freedom®’s home at 7161 Beverly Blvd, surrounded by iconic California poppies, our beautiful official state flower.
* Santa Catalina Island: my favorite CA island, thanks to a few fabulous Aliens from out of this world (Allyn/Scott/Jillian/John/Mario/…)
Norma Jeane is striking the pose on a beach in Avalon, far from Hollywood’s spotlights. She briefly lived on the island in the mid 1940s with her first husband, one lucky Merchant Marine.

The waves and hand-drawn cursive lettering are inspired by traditional Japanese Sukajan styles.

We opted for a quilted “A” side, inspired by that vintage New Old Stock “Kosho & Co” Sukajan I scored around 1992 in an Oklahoma City, OK, remote Salvation Army store, a fun anecdote related here if you’re bored.

For the “B” side, we opted for a complimenting rayon blue/red color combo, non-quilted construction.

The hand-drawn “California” lettering of the back has more of a vintage satin baseball jacket style, reminiscent of 1950s club jackets. Spin some old school street-corner harmonies like “The Wanderer” (1961) by Dion & the Belmonts and watch the 1979 flick for the Wanderers gang ref.

The California Republic’s “brown grizzly bear walking a patch of green grass” adopted in 1911 was an obvious choice for the “B” side chest, flanked by a thorny succulent, because who doesn’t like a wheel cactus…

Our choice of traditional two-sided red/white/blue ribbed knit trims for cuffs/waistband/collar completes the picture. This loosely-knit wool blend ribbing is typical of authentic Sukajan, and is a far cry from contemporary stretchy elastic webbing used on modern athletic jackets.

As always, the design part (i.e. doodling) was the easiest. Rough drawings and confusingly-worded round-eye instructions were passed on to the experts at Tailor Toyo. They looked at it all, stared at each other, shook heads and rolled eyes, yet went to work to make it all happen!
Sketches were translated into embroidery patterns for sample making. Many adjustments followed until everyone was happy with the final prototype.

Months later, expert embroidery machine craftsmen with decades of experience worked their magic for one single, labor-intensive very limited production run.

There it is.

The MF® x Tailor Toyo “CALI-JAN” souvenir jacket is designed in California, USA by Mister Freedom®, and crafted with love in limited edition in Japan by Toyo Enterprise.

SPECS:

PATTERN:
An original mfsc/Tailor Toyo pattern inspired by 1950s Sukajan and 1960s Vietjan souvenir/tour jackets.

FABRIC:
Fine 100% rayon acetate twill “A” and “B” sides.
Quilted “A” side with 100% cotton fiber batting (padding).

DETAILS:
* Authentic vintage Japan-made “souvenir jacket” style, inspired by 1950s-1960s off-duty custom-made jackets sported by US Armed Forces personnel stationed “in country”.
* All original MF® artwork, blending vintage Sukajan and Vietjan aesthetics.
* Fully reversible, “A” side blue/gold with quilted pattern, and “B” side dark red/blue.
* Traditional Sukajan silk thread embroidery work performed by expert Japanese craftsmen with decades of experience on hand-operated “free-embroidery” machines.
* Vintage-style double-sided (reversible) “TYE Tokyo” metal zipper.
* Traditional 100% cotton batting backing for quilted “A” side.
* Vintage-style soft wool knit trims, loosely-knit ribbing as 1950s Sukajan originals.
* Double labelling (inside slash pocket on blue side), featuring both KOSHO & Co (the original name of the Yokohama fabric trading company that would merge with TOYO Enterprises around 1965, today the World’s most respected sukajan manufacturer under the “Tailor Toyo” label), alongside the MF® rayon woven label.
* Limited collector’s edition.
* Designed in USA.
* Crafted in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The Mister Freedom® CALI-JAN souvenir jacket has been carefully processed (rinsed and steamed) by experienced sukajan-expert garment professionals.
It has a vintage appearance due to the light puckering of the stitching and embroidery, and subtle shrinking of the rayon fabric. Do not attempt to hot-soak or wash this garment, it has already been processed and is ready-to-wear.
The CALI-JAN may be considered true-to-size by some, or running a bit small for others, according to body types and fit expectations. It features a slightly longer body than some of the original vintage Sukajan with their often shrunken and cropped bodies.

I now navigate between MEDIUM and SMALL in mfsc jackets, and opted for a Medium in the CALI-JAN. The SMALL fit better in length for my tastes, but was too tight in the chest. I am ~ 5.7′ / 145 Lbs.

Please refer to sizing chart for approximate measurements. Note that due to the raglan sleeve pattern, arm length is measured from armpit (not shoulder seam) to knit cuff.

CARE:
Professional dry clean ONLY, in your local eco-friendly dry-cleaning facility.
Again, DO NOT wash this jacket! This is quite a fragile garment, due to both the nature of the fine rayon twill and the intricate delicate silk-thread embroidery that could snag easily. In other words, this garment is not intended for gardening.

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® CALIFORNIAN Lot64, “Frontier Duck”, 100% cotton canvas, 12 Oz., rust brown & dark navy. Made in USA.

 

Mister Freedom® CALIFORNIAN Lot64 “Frontier Duck”, 100% cotton canvas, Rust brown & Dark navy.
SS2023 & FW2023 mfsc Sportsman Catalog.
Made in USA.

We’ve issued the Mister Freedom® CALIFORNIAN in a plethora of premium fabrics through the years.

Since its 2010 introduction, our original classic five-pocket jeans pattern has been released in a wide range of NOS traditional indigo selvedge denims, eclectic premium Japanese fabrics such as double indigo twill, “Midnight” denim, Bedford cord Pique , corduroy, Jungle cloth, and cotton sateen.

For this iteration, we decided to give the CALIFORNIAN Lot64 an old school cotton canvas treatment, a nod to 1960s-70s brown duck 200Z Lee® Riders. For the denim collector, there was a fair amount of Lee® NOS floating around in the vintage world in the early 1990s, easily recognizable by the iconic yellow “boot and bucking bronco” Lee® paper flasher and desirable black/gold waistband label. I remember scoring a few stacks of those canvas specimen in old western wear stores at the time, and also sporting a pair.

For this project, we wanted domestic fabric and went out to source some nice and dry 12 Oz. cotton “Frontier” duck yardage, milled by Mt Vernon Mills in Georgia, USA.

We opted for two color options. A rusty brown similar to our Lee® brown duck jeans source of inspiration – also typical of classic Carhartt workwear – and a deep dark navy blue. For those considering a farmhand tuxedo, please note that the CALIFORNIAN rusty brown “Frontier” duck fabric is of a different dye lot from the “Frontier” Ranch Blouse NOS Duck.

This canvas duck fabric is woven on wide looms, resulting in unfinished edges, i.e. non selvedge. Therefore, as with the Californian Jungle cloth issue, the leg outseams of the pants are finished with overlock, another classic 1970s Lee® jeans trait.

We kept our MF® classic contrast orange/yellow combo stitching for the brown duck, and went tonal for the navy.

As often with our domestic production, we are using older NOS (New-Old-Stock, aka “Dead Stock”) fabric for the pocket bags. Not only as a “vintage aesthetics” choice, but in an effort to always use-up all yardage we have in stock.

Discarding left-over material is common practice in our overproducing fashion industry, an obvious waste of virgin raw material and resources, and pretty much an insult to our species’ intelligence at this point! We can do better.
Valuable and painstakingly-milled unused and uncut fabric yardage, let alone recently-manufactured clothes, should definitely not end up in landfills, nor in smoke.

The Mister Freedom® CALIFORNIAN Lot64 jeans, “Frontier Duck Canvas” edition, are designed and manufactured in California, USA, by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
Inspired by vintage 1950s-1960s era five-pocket blue jeans. Our LOT64 cut features a traditional fit, classic rise, with a slightly tapered leg for a 50s-60s vibe.

FABRIC:
Dry 100% cotton “Frontier” duck canvas, 12 Oz., milled by Mt Vernon Mills, Georgia, USA.
Two color options, rusty brown and deep dark navy.

Pocket bags:
Brown canvas option: NOS 100% cotton navy blue twill with woven white pinstripe.
Navy canvas option: NOS 100% cotton fancy Dobby stripe weave, grayish/blue stripe on off-white background (left-over yardage from the production of the MF® Aristocrat Shirt.)

DETAILS:
* Classic vintage five-pocket blue jeans pattern, featuring a straight leg with a slight taper and a classic mid-to-high rise.
* Button fly, original MF®-branded metal cast tack buttons, “oxidized” silver color.
* Non-selvedge overlocked leg outseam.
* Fancy NOS fabric 100% cotton pocketing.
* MF® original “M” stitch design on rear pockets.
* Hand-debossed leather MF® branded patch on rear pocket, natural veg-tan cowhide for rusty brown canvas version, black tea-core veg-tan cowhide for navy canvas version.
* Contrast stitching on brown canvas version. Twelve types of 100% cotton threads used for construction (gauge and color combination.) Main colors are yellow and orange. Tonal stitching (black) on navy canvas version.
* Riveted coin pocket.
* Hidden back pocket reinforcement rivets, with top pocket bartack stitching.
* Unmarked copper riveting for pocket opening reinforcement.
* Original MF® paper pocket flasher (royal blue).
* Made in USA

SIZING/FIT:
The Californian LOT64 Frontier Duck Canvas jeans come UN-WASHED and are cut so that actual measurements match the labeling AFTER an initial cold soak/line dry. We recommend the usual protocol before wearing:

  • Cold soak for about 30-40mn, with occasional hand agitation.
  • Machine spin dry and line dry.
  • Hang until fully dry.

The canvas Californians are considered true-to-size.
A tagged W32 will most-likely be the right size for an individual with an approximate measured waist of +/- 32 inches, and with average body proportions. Note that your natural waist is a bit bellow belly button level, not bellow the hips.
I opted for a W30 in these (5’7 ~142 Lbs.), for a fit silhouette, and went un-hemmed and un-cuffed for “sloppy” period stacking.
The size that will work best for you depends on your body type and how you like your jeans to fit.
Please refer to size chart, reflecting rinsed measurements.

CARE:
Launder when needed.
We recommend turning the jeans inside out to avoid marbling during laundering. Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Potential attractive patina may develop according to one’s activities, and frequency of wear/wash.

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