Mister Freedom® DRIVER Trousers, double indigo Jelt twill, SS2024 AREA 7161, made in Japan.

“Joe, your ability to take instant naps, even when it rains, will never cease to amaze.”

Mister Freedom® DRIVER Trousers,
mfsc SS2024 AREA 7161 collection.
Made in Japan.

Welcome to AREA 7161, a Mister Freedom® stylistic spin on menswear, with one of the US Government best-kept secret as its historical background: “The Ranch”… Not exactly the dude type, but an uninviting remote location in the Nevada High Desert, some 80 miles from Las Vegas, NV, a mysterious spot better known today as AREA 51.
This classified Top-Secret and highly-restricted area once was a forgotten air strip on natural salt flats located in Groom Lake, Nevada, initially built during WW2 as gunnery range for USAAF pilots. It was secretly reactivated in 1955, codenamed Watertown, as a R&D facility for a range of covert projects.
In this hard-to-access isolated High Desert location, CIA and USAF pilots, Lockheed “Skunk Works” engineers and test pilots, mechanics, …, helped develop and fly U-2 spy planes and their legacy under Project Aquatone.
From mechanics to engineers, clerks to brass, cooks to security guards, everyone involved was on a strict need-to-know basis. And what one needed to know was limited to the scope of the individual’s job. In case anything leaked, ramifications were few, and rumors easily dismissed as nonsense from too much exposure to the pounding 120 degree desert heat. Lockheed radar specialist Edward Lovick recalled: “Once I saw a coyote, chasing a rabbit, and they were both walking.”

Anecdotally, to add an extra layer of secrecy and confusion during internal radio/printed communication, the code term “driver” was used when referring to a test pilot. Back at “Paradise Ranch” in the 1950s, when news that a driver” was shipping out from Lookheed HQ in Palmdale, CA, to spend some time with the latest Dragon Lady, folks knew it meant an incoming maverick to the compound, i.e. a new U-2 test pilot from “the Industry or Government.”
During local U-2 test flights (what is believed to have triggered a UFO sighting craze in the US at the time) and obviously during covert missions over enemy territories, pilots were instructed not to wear US military uniforms or easy-to-ID gear. Should an unfortunate bailout occur, traceability needed to be kept to a minimum, to prevent communist media/propaganda from exploiting the incident.
(Source Area 51, Annie Jacobsen, 2011.)

With that light Cold War historical background in mind, the Mister Freedom® “DRIVER” Trousers are inspired by a vintage pair of 1950s US Navy Service denim dungarees (to be precise, CONT, DA-30-352TAP-2031, with a “US Naval Reserve Clothing” cloth label hand-sewn next to the bottom hem!), a not-so-common vintage piece from our archives.

Vintage 1950s US Navy Service denim dungarees (CONT, DA-30-352TAP-2031) US Naval Reserve Clothing, pattern inspiration for the Mister Freedom® DRIVER Trousers ©2024

We revisited the silhouette and awkward “ballooning” leg of the original, for an attractive 1930s-40s fitted top block and straight wide leg.
If this design oddity didn’t confuse Igor enough, we thought of cutting our Drivers in a non Mil-Specs fabric, a deep dark double indigo “Jelt” selvedge twill, 10 Oz., milled in Japan.
The potential patina on those pants promises to be nothing short of phenomenal with proper wear and occasional wash routine.

The Mister Freedom® DRIVER Trousers are designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

FABRIC:
Dark double indigo “Jelt” selvedge twill, 100% cotton, 10 Oz., milled in Japan.

SPECS:
* Original mfsc pattern inspired by a vintage pair of 1950s US Navy Service dungarees, with a revisited utilitarian cut and silhouette.
* Period high-waisted style.
* Slash front pockets, self fabric pocket bags.
* Rounded rear patch pockets, USN dungarees style.
* Darted rear panel, no back yoke.
* Waistband utilizing fabric selvedge ID on the inside.
* Painted black brass metal donut buttons for waist & fly, 1940s-style laurel leaf starburst type. Paint will chip with wear.
* Flatlock chainstitch construction throughout, all clean seams.
* Bar-tacked stress points.
* 100% cotton tonal stitching.
* Triple labeling: printed “Experimental Garment” label inside waistband, woven “Area 7161” rayon label on pocket bag, period-style Mil-Specs contract tag outside waistband.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING:
The DRIVER Trousers come UN-WASHED and are cut so that the 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/or line dry.

I went with a W30 for a comfortable fit (5’7 ~145Lbs)
The period fit of the Driver Trousers is somewhat similar to our denim Raiders, with sligthly less taper to the leg opening.

CARE:
Low maintenance, launder when needed.
We recommend turning the garment inside-out to avoid potential marbling of the fabric. Machine wash with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.

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®
©2024