Washington, D.C. hosted a birthday bash for an iconic military jacket this week. The M-65 field jacket, numerically named to match its birth year, is arguably the best example of military wear crossing over into the fashion sphere. It was the jacket of the Vietnam War, and for decades, the M-65 has been appropriated, revamped and rebuilt by a countless number of brands who appreciate the look of the field coat.
But the heart of the jacket sits with Alpha Industries, a military contractor who in the ’60s delivered millions of M-65 jackets from their factory in Knoxville, TN. Today, Alpha Industries calls Washington, D.C. its home and used the Capital city to celebrate and announce its M-65 Anniversary Collection, a five-piece capsule that showcases products inspired by the original field coat. With input from its Japanese and European arms, Alpha Industries released a custom M-65 field coat, and three daypacks developed in cooperation with Manhattan Portage.
The standout item from the collection is certainly the custom patched M-65 liner, designed exclusively by Manabu Iwakoshi in Japan, who also designed the field coat . Covered with patches customized in the field by soldiers, it is an exceptional representation of the heritage that roots Alpha Industries and the M-65. The fit, color and production is about as good as it gets.