Despite an overwhelming decline in the sale of cold weather gear, business for the outerwear brand Alpha Industries is booming. The company is reporting a 30 percent increase in revenue this year, and its attributing all its success to the sale of its MA-1 jacket.
We've seen a resurgence in the bomber in the past couple years thanks to a range of brands from Supreme to Raf Simons, doing their own takes on the classic military style. Many of them have also teamed up with Alpha Industries, which received its first military contract to start producing MA-1s in 1973, and went on to create versions for the general public in the '70s.
According to the chief executive officer of Alpha, Mike Cirker, the style gains popularity again every 10 to 12 years, but the current demand for the jacket is groundbreaking. Cirker, whose grandfather started the company in 1959, says that the MA-1 has sold double the units of any of their other styles, and Kanye West may have something to do with it.
West has obviously been a big fan of the bomber style. Not only does he have several of the jackets in his personal rotation, but he's also done his one versions, most recently for his Yeezy collections and before that for his Yeezus tour merch.
“Kanye West’s team called us up two or three years ago before his Yeezus tour and said he wanted tour jackets for everyone,” Cirker told WWD. “This was a year ahead of when the trend hit the runways so he was very forward-thinking. He brought 100 jackets or so from us and applied his own logo and patches.”
Travi$ Scott has also jumped on the trend by selling custom black Alpha Industries MA-1 jackets with a desert scene embroidery for his Rodeo tour.
Cirker says he hopes that sales for the MA-1 continue to flourish. To keep customers interested, the company will introduce a custom patch program this year where artists will design velcro patches that can be attached to the jackets.