PATROL HAT, mfsc “SEA HUNT” Collection, Spring 2014

Mister Freedom Sea Hunt Patrol Hat 2014

Mister Freedom Sea Hunt Patrol Hat 2014

Mister Freedom Sea Hunt Patrol Hat 2014Mister Freedom Sea Hunt Patrol Hat 2014

Mister Freedom® mfsc Spring 2014
Sea Hunt” Collection


Expertly loaded with all the necessities useful to the downed aviator, one of the fifteen pockets of the C-1 Survival/Sustenance vest contained… a floppy hat.
Approved around 1943 by the Arctic-Desert-Tropic Branch HQ (Air Force Tactical Center, Orlando, Florida), that cotton popeline survival hat was reversible, in order to adapt to the following scenarios:
1) Monkey trap: The final bite of K-ration announced it was time to rig up your dinner MacGyver style, following instructions of the survival manual. The “HAT, SUN” was to be worn  green (OG-107) side out, to blend in the hostile jungle while hunting.
2) When attempting to get spotted by a research/rescue party, you’d flip the hat to the ’emergency yellow’ side.

C1-Vest-Mix Survival Manual 1945

On paper, the content of the C-1 vest and other 1940’s survival kits such as those packed in type A-3 rafts, was what would separate a survivor from a permanent MIA.
Some accounts of actual survivors have told different stories about those kits however. Just ask Captain Louis Zamperini… (beware, you might not be able to put that book down.)

Zamperini 1943 Zamperini Green Hornet 1943 Zamperini Liberator Zamperini_Sally_Peterson

When lost at sea, adrift in a perforated yellow raft, the combo no knife/wet matches/four-page tutorial on conversational Western and Eastern Eskimo of the red Survival Manual, was sure to be an instant relief.
So you know, “Kah-bloon-ah nowk?” means “Where is there a white man?” in the East of the Arctic. In the West, “Nah-ne Kah-sah tahng-tah” will suffice.

During the Vietnam war, a similar cover was issued with an orange emergency side, as part of the “Over Water and Hot Climate Aircraft Survival Kit”. For high-visibility/rescue type gear, it seems that the color of choice went from safety yellow to blaze orange sometime in the early 1960’s?

It appears that the content of contemporary survival kits has not much changed since WW2, but the bucket hat has today been dropped.
For an educated current opinion on survival at sea in the US Navy, this insider’s perspective makes for an interesting read.

Ok. Back on point…
The soft crown vintage “HAT, SUN” that inspired our Mister Freedom® “HAT, PATROL” is of a very similar pattern than that of its aforementioned yellow/olive green grandfather issued with the C-1 vest. I believe the vintage sample from our archives was part of a mid 80’s “SURVIVAL KIT, COLD CLIMATE” aircraft bag. COLD or hot, that is the question.

Vintage aircraft survival gear

Vintage aircraft survival gear

Additionally, some of you might remember a “Deck Hat” from a 2008 naval collection we did, using that same pattern.
This season, the hat of choice  of our “Sea Hunt” Team features a survival/rescue side.
The fabrics we used are the same as the Skipper Jacket options, 6 Oz. cotton weather cloth, navy blue or olive green, with an orange 4.75 Oz. cotton RIPSTOP fabric lining.
The adjusting headband tape is also reversible and can be displayed matching or contrasting.

A classic military design revisited by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.


PATTERN: Inspired by vintage US military survival gear.

Two color options, both lined with a ‘blaze orange’ cotton Ripstop fabric.
a) Navy Weather Cloth: 100% cotton 6 Oz. tightly woven windbreaker popeline, milled in Japan.
 100% cotton 6 Oz. tightly woven windbreaker popeline, milled in Japan.

* Reversible
* Foldable and lightweight.
* Adjustable headband tape, mil-specs snaps.
* Made in Japan

One size fits all. Machine washable, low maintenance.

Retail $149.95

Soon available from
Please call 323-653-2014 or email with any questions not answered above.
Thank you sincerely for your support.

Mister Freedom® “Scuttler Cap”

CL Scuttler shiner Mister Freedom® ©2012


Scuttler Cap Ad Mister Freedom® ©2012



Mister Freedom® original “Scuttler Cap”

After our Apache casquette, “La Deffe“, from our previous “Les Apaches” collections, here is another nod to bygone underworlds from across the pond. Not an apologia of violence or hooliganism by any means, just vintage pop culture inspiration.
I visited an exhibition in Paris a while back, featuring mugshots by French anthropometry photography pioneer Alphonse Bertillon, from the archives of the “Police Nationale” (from the 1880’s on). From a Costume History perspective, it was interesting to see outfits of the ‘everyday’ folks who had fallen on the wrong side of the Law. Snap shots of what they wore on the fatal day, caught in the act. Quite often a departure from silver screen wardrobe from period movies. There are a few interesting ‘mugshots’ books available today, from International origins.

While Paris of the Belle Époque had its ‘Apaches’, Manchester enjoyed the ‘Scuttlers’. While Paris of the Belle Époque had its ‘Apaches’, Manchester enjoyed the ‘Scuttlers’, all victims, misfits and drop-outs left by the wayside of the Second Industrial Revolution…
In “Teenage, Creation of Youth 1875-1945”, British writer Jon Savage describes their attire this way:

“…the “professional scuttler” wore “a puncher’s cap”, “narrow-go-wides” trousers, narrow-toed brass-tipped clogs, and heavy customized belts with designs, picked out in metal pins, that included serpents, stars, and pierced hearts. The “boy expert” Charles Russell observed that the Mancunian variant wore “a loose white scarf”, with hair “well plastered down upon his forehead”, “a peaked cap rather over one eye”, and trousers “cut – like a sailor’s – with ‘bell bottoms’”

More here or YouTube short doc here, for those interested.

Our version (again, nothing literal) of the “Scuttler Cap” is a eight panel ‘newsboy’ style hat, with an original Mister Freedom® pattern. It can be worn and shaped in several fashions, straight, tilted to the side or back, un-snapped, backwards, tilted to the front to hide a shiner…

Designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and hand made in small batches in our Los Angeles atelier.


* Assorted vintage selvedge New Old Stock fabrics, 100% cotton or cotton/linen métisse. Limited availability per styles. Textiles of assorted origins, 1930’s to 1960’s. See detailed fabric photos for plain weave indigo dyed, woven plaid, grey HBT, covert twill, woven stripes etc…
* Kangaroo leather inner headband.
* Matching fabric covered top buttons, hand made (yes, that was a task enough to be mentioned!)
* NOS cotton biased tape seam piecing.
* Snap brim (A-2 pockets type metal snaps, mil-specs)

Most caps have been cold soaked (to get that ‘torque’ fabric effect) and line dried. The head band will very lightly stretch back with repeat wear, and ‘mold’ to your head. Cap sizes are measured AFTER rinse, to the best of our abilities.
57cm (~ US 7 1/8)
58cm (~ US 7 1/4)
59cm (~ US 7 3/8)
60cm (~ US 7 1/2)
61cm (~ US 7 5/8)
62cm (~ US 7 3/4)

Professional cleaning when needed. Do NOT boil or machine wash.

Available rinsed or raw.
Retail $199.95

Call (323) 653-2014 or Email to get yours while they last. We ship internationally. Thank you Lads for your support.

Mister Freedom® new hat trick: CASQUETTE “La Deffe”


Mister Freedom® CASQUETTE La “Deffe”

No, I didn’t find the secret coveted stash of New Old Stock French 1920’s-30’s caps in an abandoned Parisian storage room… (where ARE those caps??? Every single gent owned at least one back then, but they are nowhere to be found today, as any vintage hound knows.)
What I did find last year was an awesome batch of NOS French wool/tweed & linings, a rare 20’s-30’s grouping of fabrics. All coming from an haberdashery manufacturer from Northern France, that had been around since the early 1920’s and closed its doors in the mid 1960’s.
We have some of the amazing clothes (mainly suiting) that came with this loot at the MF® store now. Some of which are now seen on screen (HBO Boardwalk Empire…)

So. We figured out how to make them, the same way they were made back then. The pattern is inspired by early french men’s casquettes, different from the newspaper boy cap, the US version of it.
The name “Deffe” is one of the many colourful Apache slang for headgear. Originally, a hat manufacturer called DESFOUX (located near Pont-Neuf, Paris) made silk caps favored by butchers, pimps and gangsters since 1878. ” Une Desfoux” became “une deffe” in french argot
Some documentation can be found in the amazing 1930’s underworld studies written by Mr. Emile Chautard, who apparently spent more time in dives drinking absinthe with unorthodox characters than behind a desk sipping tea (“La vie étrange de l’Argot“, 1931). Many of Chautard insightful accounts have influenced our latest MFSC Apaches collection.
The casquette was worn slouched on the side of the head, straight was for squares. Bold fabric patterns, contrasting colours, mismatching weaves were the thing.
Calico shirt, red silk scarf, pied de poule deffe… you get the picture (or Brassaï did, when he shot la bande du Grand Albert in 1931…)

For the few who managed to read this far down, much obliged, so here are the specs of Mister Freedom® Casquette la “Deffe”!

Original Mister Freedom® single panel pattern, typical of 1920’s-30’s French gents’ caps.
FABRIC: 100 year old New Old Stock (NOS) French fabrics. Variety of all wool patterns, weave and colours. Solid, tweeds, herringbone, houndstooth in very limited quantities. (See last photo for an idea of how the fabric rolls looked like when found.)
LINING: NOS 1930’s sturdy black rayon and/or moleskine, printed with Mister Freedom® original artwork.
* Kangaroo leather sweatband
* Decorative crown strap, secured by 1900’s french NOS glass buttons
* Snap-up brim (vintage United Carr snap).
* All hand made in MF® Los Angeles atelier, by happy skilled artisans, while listening to good music.
SIZE: The can of worms…Few random sizes available, from about 57 cm to 60cm.
We use only one pattern, and due to variation in fabric thickness, fluctuating seam allowance, the crown size also varies sligthly +/- a few milimeters. No two casquettes are exactly the same.
57cm is close to US hat size 7 1/8
60cm is close to US hat size 7 1/2
CARE: Professional Hat cleaner Dry Cleaning ONLY, if needed. Do NOT wash.

Designed by Mister Freedom® and made in California in a limited edition.

From +/- 57 cm to +/- 60cm
Retail: $ 199.95

Call John or Jordan at (323) 653-2014 or Email to get yours while they last. We ship internationally. Thank you for your support.

Courtesy of Monsieur Patrick Segui, the artist behind the paintbrush of our Apache collection boxtops artwork, check out this amazing photo of Grand-Père Segui (left) in 1931.
Photographed in “Alger-la-Blanche”, Algeria, then a French colony, this shot conveys the local street style of the Pépé le Moko generation. Deffe & all! A rare photograph of a young man who went on to join the ranks of the famed Zouaves and bravely fought his way through WW2.
Patrick’s original post here.

MFSC Fall 09, the “GREASER”


Should keep you covered for the next thirty years…

(This original hat is part of the Mister Freeddom® x Sugar Cane FALL 2009 collaboration “MFSC Speed-Safe Clothing for Modern Riders”. Starting late September 2009, it will be available at the MISTER FREEDOM ® store in Los Angeles, and other select retail stores worldwide.)