Mister Freedom® Californian ‘Okinawa’ blue jeans, 50% sugar cane fibers – 50% cotton fibers. About two years of intermittent wear, several washes.
VEB veg-tan belt hand made by John ‘Vintage Engineer Boots‘ V.
One mystery remains, where to cop the banana…
Suggested extra noise-canceling set-up, pending USPTO approval.
Some MF® Oki Covers in their new environment.
Mister Freedom® Oki Cover.
Recycled from 1940’s USMC ponchos.
Sportsman 2015, made in USA.
Recycling is green but the MF® Oki Cover comes in frogskin camo.
The name “Oki” is a reference to Okinawa, the home of the Counter Insurgency Support Office for a while, as we already mentioned while introducing the MF® Experimental Camouflage Utility Trousers during Spring 2015. To pretentiously quote ourselves, here is a bit of that interesting slice of History again:
“…To more efficiently handle logistics, the highly-classified Counter Insurgency Support Office is established on the island of Okinawa, Japan in 1963. Headed by a mysterious individual working for the Department of Army by the name of Conrad Benjamin Baker, CISO was “assigned the mission of supporting the Special Forces programs through triservice depots and local procurement sources (…) Many items of clothing and equipment, for example, had to be obtained from markets in other countries because of size problems, composition of material, and equipment which had to be tailored to Montagnard measurements.” (source)
CISO acquired or produced ‘sterile’ (untraceable if captured) weapons, along with unmarked clothing and equipment to outfit US Special Forces or advisors heading out to South Vietnam. Locally screen-printed tiger stripe camo fatigues, “bowie” knives, VC-style black pajamas, rations, machetes, Seiko watches for recon teams, black 1-0rain jackets, North Vietnamese Army-inspired rucksacks…
Basically, if it proved needed in the field, CISO sourced it out in Asia, or designed it and manufactured it locally. At a fraction of the price compared to US-made mil-specs issued gear, and quicker delivery than its state-side bureaucracy-laden official channel alternative. What exactly went on is not well documented, but Ben Baker’s account of his involvement in the original design and R&D of the famous SOG knife is available for download in pdf form here…”
In the tradition of local-made garments using recycled Government-issued equipment and fabrics, we have decided to ‘sacrifice’ a few NOS WW2 USMC ponchos scored recently to make some hats. These un-issued shelter halves are authentic and originate from different military contractors of the period. They were still craft paper-wrapped and stored in talc powder. They are all dated 1944.
Original US Gov’t issued USMC ponchos, dated 1944
Originally, these ponchos were mainly issued to GI’s in the Pacific theater of operations (PTO), as the frogskin camo pattern proved too close to the German’s variety of field concealment to avoid confusion in Europe (ETO). From Tarawa to Iwo Jima, island-hoping Marines made good use of these reversible rubberized canvas shelter halves, also turning them into floor mats, blankets, tents… Rarely pictured worn in combat situation probably due to obvious impracticability, these ponchos can still be spotted on period photography of the Pacific War.
USN or USMC Camo poncho in action. GI’s unloading USN landing crafts, Iwo Jima 1945 (Courtesy LIFE)
The pattern of our Oki Cover is of a generic engineer cap type, a cross between the Choo Choo Charlie hat and a 40’s UMSC cover. Our cap is pretty much reversible, and can be worn jungle side out or beach side out, although, for those understandingly allergic to branding, the green camo side features the MF® sportsman woven label.
DISCLAIMER: This NOS rubberized canvas fabric, although thin, feels quite stiff and starched, making crinkly noises even after being thoroughly washed. For argument sake, it can be said that once sitting on top of you head and shaped to your liking, the MF® Oki Cover should remain quiet if your hair grows less than a foot per day.
One can also look at the Oki Cover as a low-tech noise canceling hat.
The very limited MF® Oki Cover is made in California by Mister Freedom®, from recycled 1940’s USMC frogskin camo ponchos.
Also featured in the photos is the MF® Jump Scarf, recycled from authentic vintage 1950’s US military spot camouflage canopies.
Credits: Some historical references courtesy of this US Militaria Forum thread.
Recycled NOS 1940’s USMC frogskin camo ponchos, original US Government issue, dated 1944. This batch of rubberized fabric is quite stiff and noisy. Each cap was washed thoroughly after completion and the fabric feels like dry fabric and not rubber.
We do not guarantee the waterproof quality of the fabric anymore, but applying some type of weatherproof fabric dressing might help, and prove more productive than suing the original 1944 contractor. We have yet to test, but the wax might also help with the crinkling noise.
Due to the nature of this 70 year-old vintage fabric, each hat might show wear from washing and abrasion, and feature tiny holes and minor fraying.
* Engineer cap-type pattern.
* Low-tech noise canceling technology.
* Limited Edition.
* Made in USA.
The Oki Covers come thoroughly washed and machine dried. No further shrinkage is to be expected.
They are sized by measuring the headband in centimeters. The sizing is discreetly stamped in black on the jungle side.
Hand wash when needed. Shape and hang dry.
Available washed only.
Soon available from www.misterfreedom.com, and from our Los Angeles brick & mortar store.
Email email@example.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support,
Louis XVI, in our elegant blue shirt.
Indeed, they come in different colors.
This one is blue.
Designed in California by Mister Freedom®, manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co. Fabric milled in Japan.
Soon available from www.misterfreedom.com
Please call 323-653-2014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions not answered above.
Thank you sincerely for your support.
We can’t hold it any longer. The rumors of a Special Edition BS (Blue Shirt) are indeed TRUE.
Here is a preview.
And that’s just the outside.
To pre-order email email@example.com
(limit 5 blue shirts per customer)
‘Californian’ Blue Jeans, Lot.64 Okinawa issue
Fall 2014 ‘The Sportsman’ Catalog
Some of you might already be familiar with the Mister Freedom® five-pocket blue jeans called the “Californian”…
Now part of the Sportsman catalog, its several reiterations so far have been as follows:
* Californian Lot.54 (NOS Cone denim), Spring 2010.
* Californian Lot.44 (Assorted NOS denim), Fall 2011.
* Californian Lot.64 (SC1966 denim), Fall 2013.
* Californian Lot.64US (SC1966 denim, Uncle Sam edition), Spring 2014.
This will come as disappointing news to Tony Manero expecting a Lot.74 with an elegant 14-inch flare, but up next is yet another straight leg Lot.64…
“Yes Tony we do lay-away. As long as it doesn’t turn into a ten-year mortgage”
So what’s new you’re saying? Well, if the cut and fit stay unchanged compared to previous Lot.64s, a traditional 1950’s era-type blue jeans with a 1960′s twist, we made this Californian with a 14 Oz. left-hand twill indigo denim referred to as “Okinawa 301”. Milled in Japan from a blend of 50% Okinawan recycled sugar cane fibers and 50% cotton, this narrow loom denim has been a Mister Freedom® favorite for some time.
In its 14 Oz. version, this “Okinawa 301” denim was featured in our 2013 Vaquero Jeans and Loco jacket… all the way down to the 2008 denim Utility Peacoat of our pre-iPhone days.
Serendipity dictated that the island of Okinawa was, in the 1950’s, the temporary home of US advisors en route to the Laotian border and other relaxing retreats around the Vietnamese countryside…
We imagined some members of this Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) had some locally-made five pocket jeans while training or transiting on Okinawa, using left-over surplus stocks of fabrics. Locally-loomed indigo denim, with HBT cotton “Duck Hunter” M1942 reversible camo aka “Frogskin” for pocketing. The hardware was also locally sourced from surplus stocks, such as the black painted “13 stars” or “Burst of Glory” tack buttons typical of US military WW2 utility/work uniforms.
Our choice of un-marked labeling is a reference to ‘sterile’ clothing worn by advisors/Special Forces, when on “over the fence” operations, in places where they were not officially supposed to venture. As in, you get caught you’re on your own…
There is no visible branding/marking on our Californian Lot.64 Okinawa, in an effort to ‘sterilize’ them and their provenance. Besides sizing, both cloth and natural cowhide leather patch are left blank. So, not your typical billboard.
We couldn’t help sticking a “Made in USA” tag on the inside waistband however, rendering the entire spill above slightly incoherent, thanks for noticing.
If you’re thinking “That’s right there sweet Charly, SF wore blue jeans on black ops in ‘Nam! Haha ya numbnuts”, see food for thought below, courtesy of Seal Team 1, Juliet Platoon, 1970.
Seals Team1, Juliet Platoon, 1970 (Photo Credit goes to the shadow at 07:00)
But as usual, let’s not let History get in the way of a good story and move on.
The Californian Lot.64 “Okinawa” are designed and made in Los Angeles, California, by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, from fabrics loomed in Japan.
Note: Some of the product photos are featuring a worn pair of Californian Lot.64 “Okinawa” (rinsed twice over a 7 months period), in order to show potential denim evolution and natural wear. These photos are not intended to deceive one into thinking we offer factory-distressed garments. Mister Freedom® original denim goods are still only available UN-WASHED/RAW from us.
Original Mister Freedom® pattern, inspired by traditional 1950′s era blue jeans with a 1960’s twist. Silhouette inspired by vintage fits and old photos, BRMC meets Beatniks. Traditional mid-rise with straight slightly tapered leg.
“Okinawa 301”, a 14 Oz. left-hand twill indigo denim, white with green line selvedge ID. Milled in Japan on narrow shuttle looms, from a blend of 50% Okinawan recycled sugar cane fibers and 50% cotton.
HBT cotton “Duck Hunter” M1942 reversible camo aka “Frogskin”, milled in Japan for Buzz Rickson’s. We were told it accidentally fell off the truck, courtesy of Sgt. Ernie Bilko.
* Classic five-pocket design, button fly, selvedge leg seams,…
* Original “M” stitch design
* Unmarked/un-branded cowhide leather patch and cloth patch.
* M1942 ‘frogskin’ camo pocket bags, alternate visible jungle/beach pattern.
* Hidden back pocket rivets with top pocket reinforcement zig-zag stitching.
* Fully lined back pocket with M1942 ‘frogskin’ camo.
* Coin pocket with concealed selvedge.
* All cotton thread Olive Drab color, assorted gauge combination.
* Selvedge button hole flap (yes, it’s under the overlock)
* Flat black-painted Metal “13 Stars” tack waist button (paint will chip off)
* Flat black-painted donut-type fly buttons.
*Unmarked copper riveting for reinforcement.
* Made in USA
The Californian Lot.64 “Okinawa” comes UN-WASHED and “oversized” so that the actual measurements will approximately match the labeling AFTER an original cold soak/line dry.
Example: A tagged W32 x L34 “Californian” actually measures about 33” x 36” before wash. They will shrink to approx. 32” x 34” after rinse/dry.
Which size works for you depends on how you like your jeans to fit. I wear a comfortable waist 32 in the Lot.64
We recommend getting your usual waist size, although proper fit is a subjective matter and everyone has their own idea of what looks good.
As with all denim twill, shrinkage and stretching will occur for a while and will depend on the wearer’s body, activities and initial fit.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/rinsed measurements. Please note that in our case, ‘rinsed’ means a 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry (ie minimal shrinkage).
W28 x L32 and L32
W29 x L32 and L32
W30 x L32 and L32
W31 x L32 and L32
W32 x L32 and L34
W33 x L32 and L34
W34 x L32 and L34
W36 x L32 and L34
W38 x L32 and L34
Available on www.misterfreedom.com.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered in the above ramblings.
Thank you for your support as always.
Our sales dept suggested we’d show some skin?
Our first Watchman customer, visiting from Kepler-186f
WATCHMAN Jacket, Okinawa & Banana Camo (Raft Yellow)
“Sea Hunt” Collection, mfsc Spring 2014
Those with beauty sleep requirements should greet the suggestion of joining the crew of a military ship with “Euhh, like no“.
While at sea, days are divided in six watches of four hours, if I remember well. A typical work day on board starts with the 0730 wake-up call, and ends somewhat about nine hours later. Then comes the watch. If the 2000 to 2400 is not bad, the mid-watch of 0000 to 0400 is lovely.
I thought of leaving the mission to comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea rules of 1972 to more qualified personnel, and decided to work around those graveyard shifts by dozing off. In the dimly lit sauna-like transmission cabin where I stood my watch, I developed an elaborate survival routine. It involved finely tuning my ear for the sound of approaching footsteps as I laid on the steel floor, and a well rehearsed fully-alert facial expression conveying a “just picking up my pen, Chef” type message.
I never got caught by the chef de quart though. I suspect that efforts at keeping that cabin productive past midnight had long been abandoned by command. By the end of my tour, I eventually found an actual folding cot, concealed behind some clunky equipment belonging to the radio guys in the adjacent cabin.
And I thought I had the routine down…
To balance with such fine examples of efficiency and professionalism, a ship at sea needs a proper watchman. The International Maritime Organization stipulates that:
“Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.“
And now, with no further ado, the stuff of legend, your pulp fiction dose of non-sense, the anticipated episode of “Tall Tales From Delusion Island”!
Here she goes.
…While cruising warm tropical waters, the Watchman Jacket turned out to be a practical garment for the Team’s lookout. Not every day brought its load of sunken XVI Century galleon cargo. So, standing watch on deck or at the helm could prove monotonous. The multiple pockets became a blessing. Housing everything from notebooks, first aid kit, carving knife, maps, snacks, rum flask, iPod… and of course the apple to keep the corpsman away.
When scouting on shore, the sturdy denim twill version was often preferred over the high-visibility raft yellow model, a color typical of pro seafaring gear.
Granted, denim is a good look in the jungle, but signaling your presence is a double edged machete. So here is another story for you.
The Team had organized a few expeditions to Netherlands New Guinea (known today as Indonesia), attempting to shed light on the fate of an adventurous 23 year-old by the name of Michael Rockefeller (yes, that Rockefeller), who vanished in November 1961 while collecting Art on cannibal territory, of all places. This unlikely outcome of privileged upbringings stirred the International press interest in the region. Extensive Dutch government and Rockefeller family organized air-sea search parties flocked.
All that was found was an empty red gasoline can that the young explorer had strapped himself to while trying to reach shore after his boat capsized at the mouth of the Betsj river and drifted to sea… His companion of misfortune, scientist Rene Wassing, who opted to cling on to the capsized boat and wait for a rescue team, survived.
Did Michael simply drown?
Was he abducted by Papuan tribesmen and promoted Great-White-God-Who-Comes-From-The-Sea?
Was he speared by an aggravated headhunter protecting his stone age status?
Was he spotted some seven years later on the remote island of Kanapu, as claimed a mysterious Australian smuggler known as ‘Donahue‘?
Is he hanging in the Asmat Chief’s hut, like on the wall?
Are you still there?
For the brave few still awake, the 1961 documentary film “Le Ciel et la Boue” (“Sky Above and Mud Beneath”), although not directly related since it documents an earlier event (a 1959 French expedition that crossed the then uncharted jungles of the entire New Guinea island, from South to North), would provide a proper visual backdrop to the above (true) story. I just found a copy on DVD (it’s an added bonus on the 1976 French film “Black and White in Color“, easier to find than the original documentary), looking forward to watching it.
Another recent find is “La hache de pierre“, a book by Gérard Delloye documenting the filming of that 1959 ethnographic endeavor. The footnotes mention that the book brings some interesting perspective on Michael Rockefeller’s vanishing… Most photos below are copyright of Tony Saulnier, photographer on that venture.
In 1961, the year of the disappearance, Operation Trikora was to take news anchors attention away from this Rockefeller case. But that’s another story, enough drifting for a day.
However, for the latest whereabouts of Michael Rockefeller, insomniacs can look here and there and everywhere.
Michael Rockefeller 1961
Protecting oneself from the ravage of the sun
French team that filmed “Le Ciel et la Boue” 1959
Gerard Delloye, author of “La Hache de Pierre”
Asmat warrior, West Papua
It’s almost time for Kumbaya
, so let’s regroup around our Spring 2014 “Sea Hunt
” camp fire.
The Team liked to keep it light on emotionally-charged rescue missions. While on treks in West Papua, the running joke with the mangrove-scouting pirogue patrol was that in the event of an encounter with javelin-agitating Asmat headhunters, Team members could use the raft yellow Watchman jacket to go climb up banana trees and hide. The name ‘banana camo’ stuck, while the denim issue was nicknamed ‘Okinawa’ due to the provenance of the sugarcane fibers that constituted 50% of the fabric content.
This original Mister Freedom® jacket design is somewhat of the UFO of our “Sea Hunt” Spring 2014 Collection.
The two lower chest pockets are inspired by a 1930’s US Army pullover denim shirt. The keen eye will notice that the Watchman Jacket pockets differ from its 1930’s sisters however. There is an added layer with a slanted opening, upgrading the original somewhat impractical ‘map’ pockets to ‘shove-it-all-in’ status.
Serendipity has it that Mr. Gilbert Sarthre, cameraman on that French 1959 expedition, was wearing one of those 1930’s US army denim pullover shirt. Military surplus was not an unusual part of an adventurer’s field gear, as often documented in period photography and old film footage.
Denim pullover shirts, US Army circa 1937
Cameraman Gilbert Sarthre wearing a surplus 1930s US Army denim pullover shirt, 1959
Banana tree survival kit, tested April 2014.
As with our Skipper Jacket, hi-tech Velcro® closures are featured on the slanted pockets and wrist cuffs.
Removable buttons, a feature of several early vintage uniforms and workwear, made snagging less likely during laundry. For the Okinawa Watchman, we used vintage New Old Stock composite anchor ring-buttons, familiar to those of you who have already flown a Pensacola seaplane.
The ‘Banana Camo’ features buttons made from, you guessed it, tropical palm trees (corozo wood, aka ivory nut.)
On the chapter of the nautical type front closure, the button attachment loops are made from genuine NOS paracord, an obvious overkill, I agree.
The WATCHMAN Jacket is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
a) “OKINAWA” Denim: Unsanforized 10 Oz. left-hand twill indigo denim, 50% cotton 50% sugar cane fibers, solid white Selvedge ID, milled in Japan. (SC401)
b) “RAFT Yellow” canvas, aka ‘Banana Camo’: New Old Stock 100% cotton canvas, mid-weight, solid selvedge. Two different shades of yellow are used. The body is more mustard yellow, while pockets offer a subtle contrast with a brighter yellow (for US production only). We found a limited amount of this NOS canvas.
* An original mfsc pattern, inspired by the wonderful world of vintage clothing and cannibals.
* Shorter type length, reminiscent of vintage fishing jackets.
* Removable ring buttons, NOS composite anchor for the denim issue, corozo wood for the yellow canvas.
* Two lower ‘double’ pockets and two slanted inverted box-pleat pockets (arm and chest)
* Removable throat latch.
* Velcro® pocket closure and wrist cuffs.
* Split back panels and front panels facing display fabric selvedge.
* Contrast wrist gussets and collar facing fabric.
* 100% cotton stitching, Olive Green color.
* Unlined, with no open or overlocked visible seams.
* Bottom adjusting cotton string.
* Made in Japan.
Both “Okinawa” and “Raft yellow” options come unwashed and will approximately shrink to the same tagged size with an original cold soak/line dry. Further shrinkage to be expected with the use of hot water and heat dryer, obviously not recommended for the Okinawa denim issue.
Do REMOVE the buttons when machine washing this garment, as the metal rings tend to snag the fabric during agitation and spinning cycles. Please note that some color transfer from the indigo denim to the yellow canvas might occur should you use a heat dryer.
The fit is quite generous, although intently on the shorter side, somewhere between the Skipper and the Ranch Blouse. The resulting silhouette will obviously vary according to one’s built and body proportions.
I am usually a medium (38) in mfsc jackets, and am wearing a 38 in the Watchman.
Please refer to cold soak/line dry measurements chart below.
a) “Okinawa” Indigo Denim $449.95
b) “Banana Camo” Raft yellow Canvas $449.95
Soon available from www.misterfreedom.com
Please call 323-653-2014 or email email@example.com with any questions not answered above.
As always, thank you sincerely for your support 🙂