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®




The TAP Lezard “Vanden” Jacket, double indigo twill x Lizard camo combo, Saigon Cowboy Fall 2015




A strong CHANEL influence right here.







TAP Lézard “Vanden” Jacket, reversible quilted indigo twill x lizard camouflage.

Following the release of the Mister Freedom® CDO Jacket, and in a similar Hmongs meets Commando vibe, here is the “Vanden” Jacket. This number will be the final addition to our “Saigon Cowboy” collection, wrapping our Spring and Winter 2015 South East Asia adventure.

Some quick semantics first…
If TAP stands for Troupes Aéroportées (Airborne troops, notorious for their tenue bariolée ‘lézard’), the name “Vanden” is a reference to Roger Vandenberghe. A French military legend, Vanden, as his peers called him, lead the famed Commando N°24 known as the Tigres Noirs (Black Tigers), one of the 45 units making-up the 5,400 men-strong Commando Nord Viet-Nam (1951-1954). Adjudant-ChefVanden’ would become one of the most decorated non-commissioned officer of the French Army, with most of his decorations earned during the Indochina conflict.

Strategic precursors of the CIA-devised CIDG paramilitary groups that would later take over with the US involvement in Vietnam, these French commando units consisted of men recruited amongst ethnic minorities of mountainous regions of Southeast Asia (Hmong, Nùng… of North Vietnam, Laos). Many defecting Viêt Minh personnel also joined the ranks. For either cultural, economic, ideological or territorial reasons, these Vietnamese nationals volunteered to fight alongside the French colonial troops,  against the Ho Chi Minh-lead communists.
Routinely infiltrating enemy-controlled territory, these commandos often opted for uniforms incorporating NVA (North Vietnamese Army) gear, ‘black pajamas’, Chinese military quilted vest, headscarves, dark indigo-dyed garments and other un-conventional local favorites… as can be seen on period photography.

After flirting with death on countless perilous ops, Vanden was to meet his fate in his sleep, assassinated in 1952 by one of his own, a Viêt Minh gone-rogue recruit of the N°24 commando…
For more on that, francophones can refer to “Vandenberghe – Le Commando Des Tigres Noirs – Indochine 1947-1952” by Charles-Henry De Pirey (ISBN:9782914086059).

Photos of Vanden’s Black Tigers courtesy of “PR” on this blog.
Photo of Viet Minh prisoners courtesy of this site.
Photo of night river patrol ©Raoul Coutard, as featured in the book “Guerre Morte” (1954) (ISBN: B00WL1YZIE)

Now comes our loose interpretation of all this…
The Mister Freedom® ‘Vanden’ jacket is by no means a replica of authentic Indochina period uniform, but rather a respectful attempt to link History with contemporary wearables, acknowledging a not-so-distant past, lest we forget. This jacket is an original garment that blends vintage aesthetics and references, not an endorsement of bygone imperialistic foreign policies, nor a glamorization of warfare.

The usual MF® spin was put on a 1950’s French Army Type 1 veste matelassée (often seen rolled up atop the rucksack during the French Army Algerian campaign, 1954-1962), an NVA black-dyed vest,… and vintage sportswear field gear. The result is an hybrid jacket featuring double indigo twill on one side, and our version of the traditional camouflage lézard introduced with the Garrison Trousers and Caban Peacoat on the other.

This jacket is fully reversible, featuring a “TYE Tokyo” metal zipper with double-sided pull courtesy of Toyo Tailor, the skilled Sukajan makers of the Mister Freedom® Party Jacket, our special Spring 2015 illiterate keyboard cowboy stimulator.


Party Jacket and TAP ‘Vanden’ Jacket

The “Vanden” can be worn and zipped-up montagnard side out, or jungle side out. Please note that we left it up too you to customize the pull with your own scoubidou or Paracord tab, as the jacket comes without one.

The “Vanden” features 6 pockets altogether, lower expandable snap flap pockets inspired by French military TAP field jackets, and two camo side chest pockets, quite convenient to store sunglasses or iPhone.
The wool knit cuffs and collar band are mil-specs, courtesy of Buzz Rickson’s.
On a somewhat insignificant note, I have come to like the old stretched-out cuffs of vintage jackets that have been through the wringer, and an easy way to achieve that look is to roll-up the knit cuff on the arm part when the weather permits. Once pulled back down, the cuffs will look ‘sloppily perfect’. This defeats the purpose of keeping the wrist section air-tight, triggering the usual slave-to-style issue, be cool or stay warm, for those of us blessed with such First World dilemmas.

The bottom of the jacket features side expansion wool knit gussets, a vintage-inspired detail we already used on the Chiller Vest, an old Mister Freedom® garment from our 2010 “Speed Safe” collection. This features comes handy when the jacket is fully zipped-up and you are at the wheel.

For the inner padding, we opted for a 100% polyester fiber thermal fill, great for warmth but not too bulky to avoid the Michelin Man look. The square-shape quilted pattern is only featured on the indigo side of the body. The arms are not quilted but still feature a thin thermal padding.

The TAP Lézard ‘Vanden’ Jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sugar Cane Co.

Montagnard side: “Double indigo twill”, a very dark (almost black) indigo warp and indigo weft 100% cotton denim twill, 12.4 Oz., white selvedge ID. Milled in Japan.
Jungle side: 100% cotton HBT ‘lizard’ camouflage fabric, milled and printed in Japan.
Inner padding: 100% polyester fiber thermal fill.


* Inspired by 1950’s Indochina War military gear and vintage outdoor garments.
* Fully reversible.
* 4 bottom expanding pockets with snap flap, with two extra chest pockets on the lizard side.
* 1950’s sukajan style reversible “TYE Tokyo” metal zipper with double pull tabs.
* 100% polyester fiber filling with minimal ‘puffiness’.
* Mil-specs wool knit cuffs, collar band and side expansion gussets.
* Square-shape quilting pattern on the indigo side.
* Olive green 100% cotton thread.
* Snap down collar lapels.
* Concealed woven Saigon Cowboy label stitched inside pocket flap.
* Made in Japan.

The “Vanden” Jacket comes raw/unwashed and we recommend an initial cold soak (~30mn) with occasional hand-agitation to insure total immersion. Spin cycle and line dry. This jacket is quite bulky and heavy when wet, so do not attempt a full washing cycle as this might damage both your jacket and your washing machine.
This jacket is true to size, and a Medium (38) fits like a snug Medium by mfsc standards. I wear a Medium with enough room for a sweatshirt or denim jacket underneath. This is a rather fitted jacket, depending of course on your build, proportions and choice of size.


Please refer to sizing chart for cold rinse/line dry approximate measurements.

TAP Lezard

Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails.
We recommend professional cleaning in your local eco-friendly facility. If not practical, hand wash or machine wash on DELICATE in large capacity washer to avoid damaging both jacket and machine. Cold water, delicate cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry. We recommend turning indigo blue/denim garments inside out to avoid marbling when washing. Un-zip jacket before washing.
Patina will develop according to activities and frequency of wear.
WARNING: The double indigo twill will naturally bleed, and minimal color transfer to light color garments or furniture is to be expected. Indigo transfer will wash-off overtime.

Available RAW/unwashed
Small (36)
Medium (38)
Large (40)
X-Large (42)
XX-Large (44)

RETAIL $699.95

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

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom® 2015

Mister Freedom x Sugar Cane “Saigon Cowboy” mfsc Fall 2015 preview


©Mister Freedom 2015


©Mister Freedom 2015


©Mister Freedom 2015


©Mister Freedom 2015

Indochine, indigo, jungle, lézard, PBR, Brown Water Navy…
Available sometime in 2015.