Mister Freedom® “HEADQUARTERS” Jacket, Yarn-Dyed Wool & Horsehide leather, mfsc Surplus FW 2018, Made in Japan.

Wait, who?

Mister Freedom® HEADQUARTERS Jacket, Yarn-dyed wool & Horsehide leather.
FW2018 mfsc Surplus collection.
Made in Japan.

Call them varsity jackets, letterman jackets, award jackets, baseball jackets… or “teddy” as they are referred to in France, here is the Mister Freedom® twist on this all-American classic. The tradition of outfitting meriting high school and college students with a lettered garment appears to be historically anchored in Harvard’s original baseball team of 1865… Apparently, the ritual of customizing one’s sport sweater with the varsity’s emblem and school colors extended to wool or leather-sleeved jackets sometime in the 1930’s.
American letterman jackets have gone through a few style variations though the years, raglan sleeves, all-wool bodies, hoods for the ladies, …, but the characteristic chenille and felt letter patches have always remained, and are today a staple of vintage Americana. The trademark contrasting leather sleeves of the classic models have gone through a questionable vinyl period in the 1980’s, as the rack of used letterman jackets of your local vintage store will attest to.

Your favorite local vintage pile o’ rags, if you lived around 7161 Beverly Blvd., LA, CA 90036, USA.(Check out Sly in 1974 in “The Lords of Flatbush”!)

We, as often, took liberties with authenticity when designing our own letterman-style jacket, twisting the concept into more of a cool “club jacket” than a sport jock uniform per-se. More Fonzy than Ritchie. Like The Lords of Flatbush meet The Wanderers, with a Camp Pendleton twist…

There is indeed a military vibe to our “Club House” jacket, aka MF® HEADQUARTERS jacket. Probably due to the choice of the olive green yarn-dyed body, a hefty wool fabric found on vintage US Army coats, matched by 1940’s tanker jacket olive green knit cuffs and collar, all borrowed from Buzz Rickson’s outstanding mil-specs trim ressources. Buzz also supplied the HBT cotton “Duck Hunter” M1942 reversible camo (aka “Frogskin”) we lined the horsehide leather sleeves with. The slash pockets are also intricately lined with frogskin, subtly displaying both jungle/beach contrasting camo sides, a pattern-making and tailoring prowess if you look at how it’s constructed. The pocket openings are trimmed with the same cognac brown-colored horsehide leather that pairs so-well with the olive green wool, a color combination we’ve always found attractive.

We opted for an early baseball jacket pattern, featuring 1930’s-40’s style button-front closure, as opposed to the later, more typical, snap button versions of the 1960’s and 70’s. The choice of unlined construction with impeccably-taped seams is also a reference to early sportswear and outdoor jackets, and old-school manufacturing savoir-faire.
For the custom MF® HQ “branding” treatment, we reached out to Toyo Enterprise’s renown Whitesville label and its varsity-related manufacturing expertise to produce authentic-looking chenille patches, done the old-fashion way. We stayed pretty conservative with the M & F letters design, but the chainstitched leather skull on felt chest patch is quite a rare combination on vintage letterman jackets.
The back of our clubhouse jacket features an irresistible MF® script all-star chainstitch job, as extra eye crack and immediate conversation-starter while in line at the DMV.

An early original R&D sketch of the MF® HEADQUARTERS jacket ©2018

The MF® HEADQUARTERS jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co and the expert Toyo Enterprise team.

SPECS:
FABRIC:
Body: Olive 36 Oz. yarn-dyed 100% wool, milled in Japan.
Sleeves: Cognac brown genuine horsehide leather.
Sleeve and pocket lining: HBT cotton “Duck Hunter” M1942 reversible camo aka “Frogskin”, milled in Japan.

DETAILS:
* An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage varsity jackets and early baseball-type jackets.
* Featuring all-original MF® artwork and decoration.
* Genuine horsehide leather sleeves and pocket trims.
* Mil-specs wool knit cuffs and knit collar.
* Old-school arm gusset.
* Unlined body construction featuring attractive taped inside seams, with 1930’s-style narrow-width olive green cotton tape.
* Frogskin camo accents on inner sleeves and slash pocket lining.
* Made in Japan.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® HEADQUARTERS jacket comes unwashed, and should stay that way. The jacket is ready-to-wear as-is, without any initial protocol. For those familiar with it, the sizing is that of Toyo’s Whitesville stadium jackets. I opted for a size 36 for a trim, balanced fit. The size 38 looked a bit too ‘contemporary’ on me, for my own taste.
Please refer to sizing chart to figure which size will work for you.

CHART

CARE:
If needed, spot cleaning only. Professional cleaning from an eco-friendly facility.
Do not attend to have the whole jacket laundered or dry-cleaned, even from a place that claims to specialize in leather garments. The leather horsehide sleeves can be conditioned after years of wear and exposure to the elements, using professional leather conditioners made for garments (not shoes), such as Pecard products. An attractive natural patina will develop on the sleeves, filled with nicks, stains and character typical of well-worn quality leather garments.
Do not machine wash this jacket!

Available fully-customized.
Sizes
36 Small
38 Medium
40 Large
42 X-Large
44 XX-Large

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles HQ of course, 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®
©2018

“Campus Cardigan” Mister Freedom® x Ohio Knitting Mills, Made in USA

 

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

 

 

 

The “CAMPUS CARDIGAN”, Sportsman Collection
Mister Freedom® x Ohio Knitting Mills

Walking past a table of folded vintage 1950’s cable knit shirts last year at ‘Inspiration’ in Long Beach, I noticed the “Ohio Knitting Mills, Since 1927″ sign on the booth.
I’ve always loved these shirts, having first seen one in the 80’s on the cover of the ACE Records “Hollywood Rock’n’Roll” LP, featuring that famous photo of two thirsty fellas from the Booze Fighters MC in 1947…

Hollywood RnR Ace Records

Turns out, “if it was knitted, wool or cotton, it was probably from OKM” said Steven Tatar, now running the show at Ohio Knitting Mills.

Well maybe they made this one too?

Sophia-Loren-1954

I’ll call Sophia later, back on topic…
We spoke regarding a potential future MF® x OKM project… and months later decided to put words into actions. And that’s how the journey of the “Campus Cardigan” started…
Wool, as i was about to learn, is similar to denim. In the sense that not all is created equal.
I also was about to get some tech terms thrown at me. A ‘Milanese stitch having to be attached to a jersey body‘?… Soprano material to me. But not to Mr Tatar.

As for inspiration for the project, I used a cream color vintage 50’s Letterman sweater, found a while back. I liked that it didn’t have the ‘Frankie Lymon & the Teeenager’ vibe, but rather a versatile cardigan for grown-ups vibe with interesting construction and unusual details that still looked ‘simple’ and not overly designed.
I also had attempted to indigo dye that vintage sweater, since when I get going, anything that doesn’t move is a potential candidate for getting thrown in the vat.

Mister Freedom® ©2013 Mister Freedom® ©2013

Not being sure what to expect with wool, I was happily surprised with the result.

Mister Freedom® ©2013

Well all that sounded like a good challenging puzzle for our new collaboration.
And a challenge it was, for all involved.

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

From sourcing the right unbleached domestic wool, spinning the yarn to specs, milling, cutting, sewing, solving construction challenges, adjusting patterns and machines… to the (fun part for us) indigo dyeing…

We wanted the buttons to remain their original natural color (and not get dyed, as seen on the 1rst prototype shown in some of the photos), so, finally sewing on the corozo buttons and dual labels was quite satisfying.

The natural wool yarn OKM sourced has a beautiful ‘slubby’ texture and subtle color variation. This makes the natural color option as interesting as the second color option… Indigo.
Back in California, we put some long hours into relentlessly dipping the heavy pre-soaked/dye-ready sweaters in our indigo vat. One by one, some 3 or 4 dips depending on the resulting hue, stopping only when we thought the indigo color looked nice. The result of that ordeal is an assortment of various shades of blue that will change overtime, with wear and outside exposure.

INDIGO PHOTOS

Designed by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Ohio Knitting Mills. All made in USA by OKM. Indigo vat dyed in California.
Thanks Steve, Paula and the OKM team for their expertise and for making this project happen.

SPECS:

PATTERN: Inspired by a vintage 1950’s Letterman wool sweater, cardigan type. ‘Dropped shoulders’ pattern. Single wrap body panel (no side seams). Relaxed silhouette.

FABRIC: unbleached 100% wool knit jersey, American yarn spun and milled in the USA.
Two options:
a) Natural
b) Indigo

DETAILS:
* Wool Jersey body and sleeves, ribbed end knit.
* Single piece body wrap knit (no side seam).
* Milanese knit button placket.
* Wide wrist knit cuffs for roll-up.
* Fold over double layer pockets.
* Blind stitched bottom hem, folded end knit.
* Natural Corozo buttons, aka vegetable ivory or coconut wood.

SIZING/CARE:
I could go with a Small, but decided to wear a Medium, for layering options with heavier shirts/henleys this winter…
The natural option comes unwashed. The indigo has been rinsed. The loose jersey knit tends to stretch slightly after being rinsed and dried. The sweater will eventually adapt to your body with repeat wear, looking more natural than it did on the first day. This is normal.
Refer to the charts below for measurements.

Natural Campus Cardigan Size Chart

Size Chart NATURAL

 

Indigo Campus Cardigan

Size Chart INDIGO

When needed, the “Campus Cardigan” can be hand washed in cold water, with minimal mild detergent. NO machine wash, NO boiling. Machine spin dry, then lay the sweater on a towel, flipping it around until dry. NO electrical/gas dryer. The sweater is quite heavy when wet, so do not hang dry on a hanger, as this will result in unattractive stretching…
Your sweater can also be professionally dry cleaned.
Same care for the natural or indigo options, making sure you wash the indigo by itself, as bleeding will occur for some time.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the natural of indigo dyeing, some color rub-off will occur on light color shirting worn underneath the indigo cardigan, noticeably in the armpits .
This crocking should eventually stabilize, and also eventually wash off stained garments.
All this comes with Indigo Territory.
Available sizes:
Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

Retail:
a) Natural $399.95
b) Indigo $449.95
(ordering this option may take some time should we run out, as we are not sure when we will be able to do another dye batch.)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com
sales@misterfreedom.com will gladly answer any questions unanswered above 😉

Thank you always for your support.