Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane msfc SS2024 LookBook Preview: “AREA 7161” Collection

Mister Freedom® x Sugarcane Co “AREA 7161” mfsc SS2024 Collection

We decided to get lost in space this season, with a brand new storyline. Grab the popcorn.

Our journey will take us from the early days of rocket engineering at JTL in the mid 1930s, with its gang of daredevil scientists (see Jack Parson and the fascinating story of the Suicide Squad), to the mysterious and secretive activities at “Paradise Ranch” in the mid 1950s, to Project Blue Book (official investigation of UFOs by the USAF 1948-1969)… all the way to the moon, and beyond!

“The Ranch”, aka Watertown, or Groom Lake, is an uninviting remote location in the Nevada high desert some 80 miles from Las Vegas, NV, and is better known today as AREA 51, after the US Government was legally pressured (under its FOIA commitment) to declassify documents acknowledging the site’s existence in 2013.

The classified Top-Secret and highly-restricted legendary AREA 51 is a remote air strip on natural salt flats located in Groom Lake, Nevada, initially utilized during WW2 as gunnery range by USAAF pilots. Also codenamed Watertown, the area was secretly reactivated in 1955 as a R&D facility for covert projects. In this hard-to-access isolated high desert location, the CIA, USAF pilots (referred to as “drivers”, for anonymity), Lockheed “Skunk Works” engineers, mechanics, …,  helped develop and test U-2 spy planes.

Through the years, under Project AQUATONE, thousands of sworn-to-secrecy individuals were to be routinely flown-in from Burbank, California, where the planes were actually built, disassembled and shipped out of. Promisingly nicknamed “Angels” or “Super Snoopers”, these high-altitude aircrafts were mostly designed for arial photography recon missions over Communist Russia, and to eventually optimize America’s long-range nuclear reach.
Side note, Russia was conducting the same research at the time, and, through parallel technology advances, actually succeeded in the Space Race by launching the first-ever satellite in 1957, Sputnik-1. The US got even a few years later, by landing a manned-craft on the moon in 1969…

Of course, no allusion to that secret test facility goes without mentioning Aliens… So, for this collection, we will also go explore the “undiscovered”, and tap into the world of vintage Ufology – the study of UFOs (Unidentified Flying Object), more recently referred-to as UPA (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena.)

UFOs have piqued public’s interest in the US starting in the 1930s.

During WW2, US flyers on combat missions also described unexplainable “fireballs” in the sky in both the European and Pacific Theaters. The unexplained phenomena were coined as “Foo Fighters” back then, origin of the term somewhat uncertain, maybe related to a popular 1940s comic strip.

In 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold’s alleged sighting of nine airborne shiny “boomerangs” helped coin the popular term “flying saucers” and sparked a “flying disc” sighting craze with Americans not-only eager for exciting news, but reassessing their worldviews in the Atomic Age.

A major event also happened in 1947, well-publicized since. Known as the Roswell incident, this was a mysterious military/CIA cover-up of an alleged UFO crash (potentially including its Alien “pilots”!) in a New Mexico desert ranch (Forster Ranch), close to the small town of Roswell, NM. For some, a mere weather balloon (or highly-classified surveillance balloon), for others, a Russian secret weapon or alien spaceship…
It is believed by some that the crashed Roswell “UFO” was under reverse-engineering in a secret AREA 51 hangar for years, along with the bodies of the Alien “pilots”… It is also said that most 1950s-60s UFO sightings in the USA were, in fact, shiny silver high altitude secret U-2 spy plane prototypes on test flights.

The topic of UFOs is mostly considered derisive occult hoax material today — admittedly fertile ground for conspiracy theories and an ideal playground for screwballs and charlatans with waaaay too much time on their hands — but is also the concern of many legit scholars. Take five and see Harvard Professor of Science and Astronomer Avi Loeb’s “in search for extraterrestrial intelligence” Galileo Project.
Serious research has been and continues to be conducted today, from early SETI programs to NASA’s recently-established official independent UAP-studying branch, the 2023 US Department of Defense AARO (All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office), etc…
There may be “nothing to see” out there, but that sure is a lot of budget and neurons allocated to the subject!

Fiction or facts, the place that potential extraterrestrial life has taken for Homo Sapiens around our globe is undeniable. From ancient mythology (check out Kaguya-hime in Japan!) to contemporary pop culture (see World UFO Day etc…)
This continued interest may not be proof of existence, but definitely shows our species’ appetite — and healthy curiosity — for the “unexplained” and “undiscovered.”  It also may relate to our own individual eternal existential question about Life’s origin, that traditional religions and Science still fall short of answering.

For breaking news, see July 2023 US Congress hearings about UAP with retired USAF pilots (with apparently impeccable careers and credentials) testifying about their own experiences (and other USAF and commercial airlines pilots’ testimonies) with unknown flying objects. For the three “whistle blowers” testifying that day, writing a mission/flight report mentioning UAP sighting is not exactly “career-enhancing” in their very-serious line of work. They stated that their main goal in going public was to increase transparency, and shed light on what can be shared for the benefit of Science, without jeopardizing national security.

As a disclaimer, let me briefly state that I am neither the Sci-Fi fanboy, nor into paranormal mysticism, and have yet to sit through the original Star Wars trilogy or an X-Files season! Alien abductions, and of the concept of contactees are way too far-out for me, and I’m not sure what to make of Bob Lazar and his peers. But what do I know…
As a kid growing up in the 70s though, I did watch countless re-run episodes of “The Invaders” on French TV (that extended little finger creeped me out!), and do enjoy listening to Ken Layne’s Desert Oracle podcasts these days. Something about escaping to the Mojave Desert… I also do intend to have a cold one at the Little A’LE’ Inn at some point, just for the mandatory selfie in front of that motel sign!

So, are we not alone? Is there life out there? Well, if humans are lucky, it will hopefully be more intelligent than the one I was granted with!

SS2024 style inspiration:
For Spring 2014, Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane Co decided to have fun with vintage UFO lore, explore the myths and declassified history around AREA 51, in a simple mission to design a few casual wearables for 21st Century earthlings, with an emphasis on American 1940s-50s menswear/workwear with the usual MF® twist.

For visuals, Angels in Paradise (1960) is recommended watching. A declassified 20mn filmed documentary about the development of the U-2 at AREA 51. Great vintage footage, straight from the CIA.
For the historical timeline and background, Annie Jacobsen’s AREA 51 — a well-researched and fascinating book written in 2011 with an overwhelming amount of declassified intel — provided me with much of the content above.

This season’s SS2024 AREA 7161 mfsc collection line-up consists of (USA or Japan-made):

1) “FLYING SAUCERS” Rock’n’Roll Shirt, MF® x Sun Surf® (Japan):
Musical background here.
Fabric: 100% rayon, original artwork inspired by the 1947 Roswell alleged UFO crash and related vintage flying discs lore.
Color options:
a) Alpha model (original artwork colorway)
b) Bravo model (subdued background)
Sizing: CL will wear a MEDIUM in production.

Our classic and versatile suiting patterns, to pair or wear individually, to color-match or mismatch, to dress up or down.
Fabric: fancy herringbone twill, 100% cotton, 10 Oz., milled in USA.
Color options:
a) Indigo HBT
b) Ivory HBT
Sizing: CL will wear a 38 coat and W30 in production.

(moniker reference to early Aeronautical research and rocketeering conducted in California since the 1930s, leading to jet-propulsion technology still used today by NASA today. See Jack Parson and the fascinating story of the Suicide Squad…)
The pattern borrows from vintage “gas station” jackets, as a rocket mechanic might have worn on/off the job.
Fabric: 100% cotton pique, milled in Japan.
Color options:
a) Rusty brown
b) Navy blue
Sizing: CL will wear a SMALL in production.

3) “DRIVER” Trousers (Japan):
(the word “driver” was used to address Area 51 USAF/CIA pilots who were testing U-2 planes, to add another layer of secrecy to the covert operation during radio/printed convo. Early spy plane pilots were instructed to not to wear US Government-issued gear, to reduce traceability in case of a crash landing on covert ops over enemy territory.)
Pattern inspired by a 1950s USN pair of Service denim dungarees, with a revisited naval service pants silhouette. Fitted top block and period wide leg for a 1930s-40s vibe.
Fabric: Dark double indigo “Jelt” twill, 10 Oz., milled in Japan.
Sizing: CL will wear a W30 in production. (photographed sample is W31)

4) “WATERTOWN” Shirt (Japan):
(“Watertown” was the code name for AREA 51 for internal convo.)
1950s style casual S/S shirt, blending period sportswear with workwear, diverting chambray fabric from its usual utilitarian garment role.
The orange/yellow contrast stitching combo is a nod to our Californian blue jeans.
Fabric: Indigo chambray, cotton/linen blend (85/15), 6.5 Oz., white/red stripe selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
Sizing: CL will wear a SMALL in production.

One of our short pants best-seller at MF®, a versatile piece.
Fabric: OG-107 cotton sateen, 1950s Mil-Specs.
Sizing: CL will wear a W30 in production.

6) CALIFORNIAN Lot.54 Reissue (USA):
An anticipated reissue of our first Californian blue jeans model, initially released in 2010! Same cut, trims and vintage NOS Cone denim.
Limited run!
Fabric: New Old Stock Cone Mills “XUV” selvedge denim, 12 Oz., milled in USA.
Sizing: CL will wear a W30 in production.

7) CALIFORNIAN Lot.674 “AWA-AI” fiber denim (USA):
Releasing the recent Californian Lot64 Awa-Ai in our popular and slimmer Lot.674 cut.
Fabric: Sugar Cane Co proprietary “AWA-ai” fiber denim (blend of 70% cotton x 30% sugarcane fibers), 13 Oz., white/green line selvedge ID, dark indigo hue, dry, hairy and neppy, milled in Japan.
Sizing: CL will wear a W31 in production.

8) CALIFORNIAN Lot.64 black denim VDL14 (USA):
Our classic 5-pocket cut.
Fabric: black warp x black weft bull denim, 14 oz., white/red selvedge ID, milled in USA by Vidalia Mills on Cone Mills legacy Draper-X3 looms.
Sizing: CL will wear a W29 or W30 in production.

Our classic original trucker jacket, released in the same fabric as our SS2023 Californian Lot.64 OG23.
Fabric: New Old Stock Cone Mills “XXMC” organic selvedge denim, 12.75 Oz., milled in a Cone Mills-owned facility in China, operating with legacy looms.
Sizing: CL will wear a 38 in production.

10) SPORTSMAN Shirt IceBlu denim (USA):
Our classic workwear style shirt (same pattern as the MF® Ranger Shirt with additional front shoulder yoke expansion pleats.)
Limited fabric, very small run.
Fabric: 2×1 selvedge “IceBlu” denim, 7.25 Oz., milled in USA.
Sizing: CL will wear a SMALL in production.

That’s a wrap!

Our original SS2024 “AREA 7161” mfsc collection is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and exclusively manufactured in Japan and USA in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, in limited quantities.
Please note that the SS2024 lookbook/preview features show samples, not necessarily reflecting quality/fit/details/labeling of the upcoming production.

As always, besides the classic vintage style references, the common thread in all these original garments is the Mister Freedom® on-going commitment to ethical manufacturing, original designs, and resistance to fast fashion, with styles that will easily incorporate into one’s existing classic wardrobe.

Thank you very much for your renewed support.

Love from Sunny California,

MF® Team, Joe & c

Visit the blog to view additional collection images