With military clothing being such an important reference point for Neighborhood and a whole host of other Japanese brands, every collection delivers something classic, yet reappropriated to the highest order. The G-1 jacket is a shining example. Scroll through the slides above as we take a look at the history of the jacket and what makes it so special.
Although the name G-1 was not used for the jacket until after World War II, the G-1 jacket (previously M422A) is one of World War II’s classic military silhouettes. Although more of a status symbol than a functional part of military gear nowadays, it is still issued to higher-ranking officers and aviation personnel in the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Replacing the iconic A-2 jacket sometime in the 1940’s, the G-1 jacket only had minor cosmetic and functional upgrades from its popular predecessor, including a fur collar and a slightly more breathable and moveable construction, thanks to it’s bi-swing back panelling.
Earlier models of the G-1 were built from vegetable tanned goatskin leather, whereas many newer models including Neighborhood’s AW14 version are constructed from horsehide, which is highly water resistant and gives a smoother finish. It is also tougher to break in, but it's worth it when you get there as horsehide leather develops a much more interesting and exciting patina as time goes on.
One of the key pieces that distinguish a G-1 jacket from many other military jackets is the fur collar, giving you a little extra comfort and warmth than other jackets such as the A-2. You will also find U.S.N.H stenciled underneath the collar on Neighborhood’s version. Only the very earliest model of the G-1 (55J14) had this stenciling under the collar, with subsequent versions having perforations on the internal wind flap instead. It’s one of many examples you can find throughout all Neighborhood collections; unique attention to original detailing that can go largely unnoticed or are often overlooked by others.
Neighborhood’s G-1 has the traditional two large external pouch pockets at the front, with a cat’s-eye button closure. The ‘23’ branding on the buttons is a nod to the button size and is a feature throughout Neighborhood’s AW14 collection. That, in itself, is a unique nod to military-style utilitarian design that the Japanese brands seem to get so right. Neighborhood’s classic military specification-style exterior label also sits on the outside of the right pocket. Below is an external, elasticated, ribbed hem, which is also found at the cuffs; balancing the overall look and feel of the jacket. In contrast, most cotton military jackets have these features hidden internally.
A Talon zip, branded with ‘Universal’, an early name for the renowned zipper manufacturer, fastens the front of the jacket, with a leather zip pull a welcome finishing touch. An internal snap pocket also sits just inside the zip, traditionally used by pilots for holding maps.
U.S Navy Grumman F-9 Panther pilots wearing G-1 jackets, 1952
The G-1 jacket, particularly due to its role in box office films and because it is still issued to this day, is one of the most re-produced military jackets you can find. This means details can vary from brand to brand, but Neighborhood’s stands a shoulder above other reproductions, in it’s classy ability to merge clever and classic detailing with a modern day sensibility. They say everyone should own a G-1, and it makes for a perfect jacket not just in the winter but all year round. Not only that, the more you wear it, the better it gets.