5 BRANDS WITH AN AVIATION HISTORY
MENSWEAR LABELS WITH A LOVE OF AIRCRAFT
Who didn't have dreams of pulling Kelly McGillis in a bar in the 80s by singing 'You've Lost that Loving Feeling', acapella, woefully out of key. I know I did, but do you think tiny Tom Cruise would have got within a half a breath if he wasn't wearing aviators, donning a flight jacket that proverbially said 'That's right, I am dangerous!' So before you head out to revamp that winter wardrobe, check out these Top 5 Aviation Brands.
For 25 years, the story of PME Legend has been entwined with the legendary expeditions of the last frontier of cargo pilots and their incredible flying machines. These pilots – the 'cowboys of the sky' – are hardworking, and they demand the same from their workwear. Whatever their destination, cargo pilots always prepare for the unexpected. Those planes fly with no aircon and no heating systems. When there is no comfort to be take from such facilities, the pilots find the comfort they need in the gear they wear. The rugged, functional and long-lasting traits of their flying essentials are echoed in the design standard and premium craftsmanship of every PME Legend collection.
Founded by aviation pilots and brothers; Giles and Nick English in 2002, inspired by a love of flying historic aircraft, of watches and all things mechanical. Their timepieces had to be tested beyond the normal call of duty. Immensely precise, reliable and durable, Bremont watches are hand built in limited numbers. The name was taken from a French farmer who came to the brothers aid when they crash landed a plane in his field.
Alpha Industries is the true benchmark for Aviation branding. Alpha Industries, Inc. was incorporated in Knoxville, TN on October 17, 1959. One of the founders Samuel Gelber began to bid on Department of Defense contracts for Alpha, whilst Apparel expert Herman Wynn arranged a subcontracting agreement to manufacture the MA-1 flight jacket so that Alpha's 35 employees would have immediate work. It was this genius collaboration that catapulted the brand and it was only one month later, in December 1959, that Alpha Industries received its first Department of Defense contracts. Personal highlight for me would be the Souvenir Eagle jacket.
Turin 1917, Giuseppe Ratti, photographer and owner of Berry Opticians, began to make technically advanced glasses designed to satisfy the demands of pilots and sports drivers who required comfort, protection and optimum vision. Persol from “per il sole” meaning “for the sun”, highlighting their function of protection against the sun’s rays. Although the look of the glasses have changed over the years, it’s a brand steeped in tradition and extremely proud of its heritage. Check out the typewriter range for a studious and versatile fit.
Of course Bremont doesn't have the monopoly on aviation watches. AVI-8 Watches have an outstanding collection of timepieces that aim to honour both the aircraft and the untold story of the airmen who have dedicated themselves both in and out of the cockpit. The result is an intensely masculine aesthetic; We've picked out the AV-4038-04 (not an easy one to remember) as our favourite.