The Rake


Source: Brown leather USAAF aviator jacket, Chapal for The Rake; powder blue washed cotton denim shirt, Drake’s for The Rake.Navy denim-look cotton whipcord trousers, Camps de Luca; navy cashmere tie, E. Marinella, both property of The Rake.

There are certain leather jackets that are inextricably linked with certain values. For example, the J-24 Buco/Schott Perfecto double-breasted motorcycle jacket conjures up images of a sneering Marlon Brando slouched against his Triumph motorcycle in The Wild One, and, as such, perfectly characterises the word ‘rebellion’. The A-2 aviator jacket, issued by the United States Air Force to officers since 1931, has been donned by such an incredible litany of real-life and screen heroes, from General Douglas MacArthur to Steve McQueen, that it will forever be associated with acts of immeasurable heroism. Who can forget McQueen in his A-2 made by American brand Rough Wear in The Great Escape, his jacket draped insouciantly like a flag of defiance against his German prison camp oppressors?

Throughout my life I’ve owned dozens of A-2 and G-1 (the Navy version) jackets, numerous vintage jackets, and several modern ones — and each time I’ve worn them I’ve felt connected to their rich and heroic history.

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