DALLAS, Sep 3, 2008 / FW/ — Designers have constantly been inspired by military clothing, but for Spring 2009, the military is not just a muse… it’s for real! Sears has signed a deal with the Pentagon to sell official U.S. Army uniforms and the retailer is bringing it to its Fall Forward fashion exhibit at New York Fashion Week.
A historical milestone in more ways than one, this is the first time that the U.S. Army has officially licensed its marks and insignias. The licensing fees will be used to support military programs for troops and their families.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. getting the contract to launch the All American Army Brand’s First Infantry Division clothing collection is literally a coup. The iconic retailer is trying to create a fashion-forward image and the military uniform may just be the edge they need.
Pop culture has a ‘love hate’ relationship with the military and the military uniform. In recent history, the turbulent 1960s created the ‘Make love not war’ slogan as a motto to stop the Vietnam War. Photos of hippies giving flowers to soldiers have become classics, even works of art.
In the same token, the sufferings of the soldiers who served in Vietnam was also a rallying point to stop the war; thus a soldier in uniform also became a symbol of peace.
Whether the Pentagon knows it or not, soldier chic exists. In Europe, thrift shops sell used military uniforms to kids because it is ‘cool’ to wear them, not because these kids cannot afford to buy new clothes.
Even here in the U.S., there is a certain romance associated with the military uniform, though of course, it varies on what service it is.
Outside of the fashion realm, the licensing agreement between the U.S. Army and Sears will have a lot of repercussions in the future. Still, knowing the Pentagon, this deal might have been being discussed for years. Study after study must have showed that this move would be more beneficial than harmful.
Still, if this licensing agreement can support U.S. Army programs for military members and their families, then it is a good thing. With a shrinking military budget, the Pentagon has to be creative!
Photo: (Editor’s Note: The photo shows active duty U.S. Army personnel. Their photo was used to show how a U.S. Army uniform looks like. These soldiers will not be attending New York Fashion Week)
Team Bagram keeps ’em flying
Photo by Jim Hinnant, 401st Army Field Support Brigade
September 02, 2008
The Soldiers of “Team Bagram” – members of the 1109th Aviation Classification Repair Activity Depot (Connecticut Army National Guard) deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, pose by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter they are in the process of repairing, Aug. 20, 2008, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Front row (L-R) SGT Jose Chambers, SFC William Ortiz, SSG John Kelleher, SGT Timothy Lenz, SSG Gerard Callahan; Back row (L-R)-MSG Scott Ryer, PFC Vincent Demayo, SSG Steven Splechter, SSG Robert Christensen, SFC Donnie Bartunek, SGT John Coley, SFC Gerald Lane, SSG Richard Walbridge, SSG James Houlberg, MAJ Timothy Seery (Not shown – SSG Ricardo Valle.) The headquarters, and other Soldiers of the 1109th AVCRAD, which conducts the Theater Aviation Maintenance Program for Southwest Asia, are stationed at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.