Today's bomber, depending on where you buy it, will either be a very close reproduction of the classic, or tailored towards modern tastes. A brand name in their own right, Alpha Industries received a military contract in 1963 to create MA-1s, and began producing for civilians in the '70s. You'll find that their jackets are military spec replicas, with concessions made in color, and materials for a wider civilian audience.

Streetwear brands like Stüssy and Supreme regularly reinterpret the bomber jacket, often collaborating with old-school manufacturers like Alpha Industries or Schott NYC to make custom versions. On the other end of the spectrum, labels like The Real McCoy's and Buzz Rickson aim to make super accurate reproductions of the standard issue versions, down to every last detail. Rickson's excruciating attention to detail got the label a mention in William Gibson's 2003 book Pattern Recognition, making a black Buzz Rickson MA-1 bomber jacket an indelible part of protagonist Cayce Pollard's uniform.

Ironically enough, Buzz Rickson actually never made a black MA-1, but had been planning to release a jet black version for its tenth anniversary in 2004. As fate would have it, Gibson and Rickson went on to collaborate on a collection of military repro outerwear.


The bomber jacket has also provided countless inspiration to high fashion menswear designers, who consistently revisit and reinterpret the silhouette. Whether you're talking about the now classic Raf Simons oversized "Pyramid" bomber from his Spring/Summer 2000 SUMMA CUM LAUDE collection; Helmut Lang's iconic "bondage" bombers from 2004;  elongated bombers from street goth favorites Rick Owens and Fear of God; or floral printed versions from Balenciaga and Dries Van Noten, bomber jackets are now runway veterans.

For the most part, these reinterpretations forgo the bulky sleeves and extra pockets, in an effort to further streamline the silhouette of the jacket. Considering Raf Simons and Rick Owens are known to design collections inspired by punk rock, gothic, and/or counter culture as a whole, a bomber jacket is an obvious fit for these types of designer brands. Newer brands like STAMPD add to the meta-ness of it all by channeling Helmut Lang for its recently released Strapped bomber.

Even fast fashion retailers like H&M and Topman have designed their own versions for those on a tighter budget (albeit at the cost of functionality). While newer versions may not be cockpit-ready, there's a reason that most guys want bomber jacket: You can't hate on something that's as practical as it is stylish.

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