Alpha Industries is an American clothing brand founded in 1959 in Knoxville, Tennessee. With a focus on military-style clothing, the brand is best known for its iconic signature items, such as Alpha Industries bomber jackets and Alpha Industry utility vests.


Alpha Industries is a heritage brand selling iconic military bomber jackets and vests made of high-quality and durable materials.


Alpha Industries was founded by Samuel Gelber in 1959 in Knoxville, Tennessee, US. Alpha Industries would’ve never existed without some bad business ethics performed by Samuel Gelber’s business partner Robert Lane.

Gelber and Lane produced military clothing; however, being accused of bribing a Department of Defense official, his businesses were barred from receiving any more government contracts. After which, Gelber started Alpha Industries in the basement of a factory in Knoxville, Tennessee, using leased sewing machines with a handful of employees.


Alpha Industries has been a private family-owned business since its founding in 1959. It is led by Mike Cirker, the third-generation leader who took over in 2011.


Which Alpha Industries bomber jacket size you should get ultimately depends on how you want it to fit. However, Alpha bombers run slightly small, so if you want to wear a more oversized jumper underneath, it’s a good idea to size up.


Alpha Industries jackets are now made primarily in China, but some of their operations are still based in America. The brand still has a small factory in Knoxville, US, where Alpha military jackets were initially produced.


The MA-1 bomber jacket, also known as the MA-1 flight jacket, is the most well-known piece from Alpha Industries’ history. It was developed in 1958 by Alpha Industries’ preceding company, Dobbs Industries, out of necessity during the new Jet Age of military aviation.

Before jet aircraft, pilots wore bulky leather fleece-lined jackets that absorbed water too easily, making them cold and uncomfortable when taken to the new heights these streamlined jets could fly. The MA-1, with its sage nylon exterior and bright orange polyester lining, solved issues of warmth, weight, and mobility for jet pilots.

After the Vietnam War, civilians began picking up the MA-1 in military surplus and thrift stores, propelling its popularity as an everyday jacket for intermediate to cold weather.


You can purchase Alpha Industries directly at the Alpha Industries online store.


Samuel Gelber and Robert Lane found Dobbs Industries in Knoxville, Tennessee, to make outerwear for the US military.


Lane gets in trouble with the Department of Defense for bribing officials and is subsequently barred from government contract work. Gelber splits with Lane and Dobbs Industries and forms his own military outerwear company Alpha Industries.

Soon after its founding, Alpha Industries won its first Department of Defense contract to make Air Force parkas and Navy shirts.


Alpha Industries wins its first contract to manufacture the MA-1 for the US military. Over time, they’d become the dominant manufacturer of the classic MA-1 jacket.


The company wins its first Department of Defense contract to make the M-65 field coat. Every year for the next 25 years, Alpha Industries receives contracts to make the M-65 for the military.


Alpha Industries begins making small batches of jackets for the commercial market to keep production lines going in-between orders for military contracts.


Samuel Gelber passed away, and new leadership took over at Alpha Industries and expanded the commercial side of the business. They began branding the company by trademarking the three horizontal bars on every one of Alpha Industries’ commercial clothing labels.


After nearly 30 years in business, Alpha Industries developed and debuted its first brand logo for commercial catalog use. An expanded product line appears specifically for the commercial retail market in their wholesale catalog.


Receiving a branding facelift, the “Flying A” logo was born in response to rapid growth in the commercial market.


Alpha Industries begins teaming with streetwear clothing brands. Streetwear and skate companies like Stüssy and Hurley are amongst the first to collaborate.


Michael Cirker became the CEO of Alpha Industries, replacing his father.


Celebrities like Kanye West, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner are spotted wearing the MA-1 bomber jacket, leading to a 30 percent increase in revenue and cementing its place as a wardrobe staple in contemporary fashion.


Vetements x Alpha Industries collaborate on a bomber jacket collection.


Alpha Industries drops the SS19 collection.

For the FW19 collection, Alpha Industries collaborated with Eastpak on Alpha bomber jacket-inspired bags.

In autumn 2019, Alpha Industries partnered with NIGO’s flagship streetwear brand A Bathing Ape (BAPE). The A Bathing Ape x Alpha Industries AW19 collab features patchwork and logo badges in black, white, and military green color schemes.


C2H4 X Mastermind X Alpha Industries team up for an FW21 capsule featuring futuristic, technical bomber jackets.

Alpha Industries keeps its relevance in streetwear and collaborates with Patta, reimagining the iconic M-65 field jacket.

Alpha also teams up with New Balance on Alpha Industries x New Balance military-inspired sneakers.


Yeseyesee X Alpha Industries released its debut collaboration, featuring leather jackets.

Detroit-based musician ZelooperZ is the face of Alpha’s FW22 collection campaign, which features versatile outerwear pieces.

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