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Camouflage Gets the Spotlight at Alpha Industries’ Pop-Up Store

Designers deploy military-inspired elements for the streetwear brand’s first physical outpost in New York

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PRIVATELY HELD ALPHA Industries (Knoxville, Tenn.) is flying high with fashionistas, rappers, YouTubers and Instagrammers. It’s all thanks to Alpha’s MA-1 flight jacket first developed for military pilots. Alpha Industries began supplying those to the U.S. Department of Defense with its 1959 founding. Today, Alpha’s growing line of military-inspired apparel finds itself woven into fabric of U.S. fashion.

A 3000-square-foot pop-up in New York City, running October 2022 until January 2023, celebrates Alpha’s rise from utilitarian to uber chic. Designed by The Lionesque Group (New York), an MG2 (Seattle) studio, the Greene Street landmarked building location is equally lab, showroom and exhibit.

“We mined their private archives for the historical jackets on the walls, sourced vintage pieces at the entry and throughout the store,” says Melissa Gonzalez, Founder of Lionesque Group. A series of orange shadow boxes displays Alpha’s historic styles including the MA-1 and its predecessor the B-150D flight jacket along one wall. In all, visitors can view more than two dozen vintage items throughout.

The store’s palette draws from military elements such as U.S. Woodland camouflage and bright orange paracord first used for parachutes. Visitors can’t miss the paracord – about 1000 feet of it – suspended from the 14-foot-high ceilings. Here it’s used to hoist aloft Alpha’s latest collection of bomber jackets and puffer coats.

More than 100 yards of the familiar camouflage was used in military barracks-inspired fitting rooms and at the cashwrap. An overhead skylight left in its original state suggests an in-the-field aesthetic. More than 1000 “Remove Before Flight” hangtags fashioned into a ceiling grid defines the seating area below. There, upholstered armchairs recall vintage aircraft with sheet metal side panels and brown leather seats. Elsewhere vintage trunks, sand bags and a Douglas DC-6 aircraft hull contribute to the military vibe.

While fans could enjoy special events such as upcycling workshops and collab launches at Alpha’s first-ever brick-and-mortar store, they’re still awaiting official word on a permanent home for the heritage brand.

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PHOTO GALLERY (9 IMAGES)
📷 Courtesy of Alpha Industries/MG2

Former editor-in-chief of VMSD magazine. Writing for VMSD since 1985-1998; 2022.

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