RemarksThe Real McCoy's MJ23008

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The Souvenir jacket, or 'sukajan,' was first embroidered by the Japanese for American soldiers during the occupation and was initially sold in street stalls and later at the Post Exchanges of military bases. The Yokosuka Navy Yard, from where the Sukajan name is derived, was one of the main arsenals of the Imperial Japanese Navy leading up to World War II. After the war, the base came to be occupied by US forces.

Early Sukajan jackets were typically flight jackets that had been directly embroidered upon but as their popularity grew, traditional kimono makers created Varsity style jackets made from leftover parachute silk or nylon.

Sukajan continued to be sought out as souvenirs by troops in both Korea and Vietnam. However, the intricately embroidered, bright and commemoratory souvenir jacket that was prolific in Japan made way for the darker and more sombre and utilitarian Vietnam era interpretation, reflecting the mood of the time and a more ubiquitous design took hold.

These jackets commonly featured, in an unrefined style; an embroidered map of Vietnam, text denoting the troops base or squadron, the classic tiger motif and the motto, ‘When I die I’ll go to heaven because I’ve served my time in hell’ and were constructed in fabric readily available during the war such as surplus poncho liners, sleeping bags, and áo dài, the Vietnamese ethnic dress.

In order to achieve the distinctive look and feel of the VIET-NAM jacket we have utilized a two part dyeing process whereby the yarn is first dyed before the finished fabric is over-dyed. The twill fabric is woven with incredibly low-tension, to a custom specification to achieve the unique finish.

The piece is lined in a luxurious, custom-produced Rayon, has been combined with vintage techniques and features characteristically rough-hewn embroidery to the front, back and sleeves.

  • An authentic vintage fit with relaxed shoulders and a deep armhole
  • Low-Tension Twill Fabric
  • Rayon Sateen Lining
  • McCoy's Original Double Sided, Aluminium Alloy, Cotton Tape
  • Cotton Sewing Thread Construction
  • Made in Japan