“HOOPER” is an exciting new stylistic escapade for us, with visuals borrowed from the vintage world of motion picture stuntmen/stuntwomen, before CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) replaced adrenalin highs and broken bones.
To briefly set our FW2022 stage, the two main characters in Quentin Tarantino 2019 “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Rick Dalton played by Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cliff Booth played by Brad Pitt) were partially based on two Hollywood legends: actor Burt Reynolds (who actually started his career as a movie stuntman) and former paratrooper and professional stuntman Hal Needham.
In the 1970s, Burt Reynolds was one of America’s most popular comedy actors, and Hal Needham one of the highest paid Hollywood stuntmen. They were actually close friends in real life, and bachelor pad roommates for some 11 years.
After 46 broken bones, Needham, who often played stuntdouble for Reynolds, eventually got tired of jumping off buildings and crashing cars for a living. He decided to create his own business (Stunts Unlimited), and dreamed of actually becoming a movie director. In 1977, he wrote the B-movie “Smokey and the Bandit”, and, to convince producers, enrolled his buddy Reynolds to star in it… Screen magic happened, and against all odds, the low budget “redneck buddy” movie became a hugely-popular hit in the USA. The flick remains today an iconic piece of period Southern culture Americana captured on film.
Following this success, Needham directed the movie “Hooper, The Greatest Stuntman Alive” (1978), a tribute to his profession: the stunt doubles, actual unsung heroes of the silver screen. Again, Burt Reynolds was the leading star, playing the fictitious stuntman Sonny Hooper.
Watch “The Bandit” documentary (2016) if you get a chance.
Our FW2022 mfsc “HOOPER” capsule collection blends vintage Hollywood professional stuntmen styles (yes, with an ounce of 70s macho men open collar shirts, aviators, sideburns and gold chains!), classic western wear, 1970s-80s automotive fashion (old school NASCAR garments, Wynn’s gear, 1980s “Auto Style” jackets etc), and classic vintage car/motorcycle racing promotional garments for gearheads.
To simplify things, the usual seasonal additions to our classic made-in-USA SPORTSMAN catalog have been incorporated into the HOOPER storyline, adding an earlier 1960s-70s McQueen in Palm Spring Desert vibe.
About a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, the actor’s Palm Springs home in the California desert was his get-away and escape from the busy Hollywood life. Hot days, cool nights, relaxing around the pool or desert racing, camping trips to the Sierra Madre Mountains… some of that lifestyle was famously documented at the time by photographers William Claxton or John Dominis (LIFE, 1963).
If McQueen often insisted on performing his own stunts, frowned by the studios considering risks and insurance liability, pros like Bud Ekins (the famous jump in “The Great Escape”, 1963) or Loren Janes (the moving train stunt in “The Hunter”, 1980) were never too far.
This adds a blend of cool 60s sportswear and vintage casual suiting to our action-packed HOOPER mix.
The FW2022 “HOOPER” line-up (made in USA & Japan) consists of:
5) CALIFORNIAN LOT.64 “OUTLAW”, Midnight denim (USA)
* The popular fit of our classic Lot.64 Californian five-pocket jeans, with western-style “frogmouth” pockets.
* 16 Oz. Midnight denim, dark indigo warp x black weft.
6) RANCH BLOUSE, “Frontier” Duck Canvas (USA)
* The classic MF® Ranch Blouse pattern in a USA-milled sturdy and dry brown duck canvas.
7) Leather RANCH BLOUSE, “Bison” (USA)
* A leather version of our classic MF® Ranch Blouse pattern.
* Veg-tan cowhide, tea-core with a cognac color top coat.
8) WORKMAN Shirt, “Americana” stripes (USA)
* NOS 100% cotton woven stripe fabric, white with blue & red stripes.
9) BRONCO CHAMP Type II (USA)
* 1960s style cafe racer rider jacket, a revisited pattern from our 2009 MF® Bronco Champ original, USA-made this time.
* Cotton printed flannel lining.
* Natural veg-tan cowhide / Black tea-core veg-tan cowhide.
10) CALIFORNIAN LOT.674 “Groovy”, NOS Cone denim (USA)
* Our slimmest five-pocket jeans, slightly tapered leg, 1960s vibe silhouette, button fly.
* NOS 14 Oz. Cone blue denim.
* Groovy NOS cotton printed canvas pocketing!
11) Cashmere V-Neck “TERRENCE” Sweater (Japan)
* A classic menswear staple garment, revisited with 50s—60s style extended cuffs/waistband.
* Fancy cable knit pattern.
* 100% Mongolian Cashmere.
* NOT made in China, and in very limited quantities.
* Black / Yale Blue / Ice Blu
13) CALIFORNIAN LOT.674 and COWBOY Jacket, Corduroy Edition (USA)
* Our slimmest five-pocket jeans (slightly tapered leg) & classic trucker denim jacket pattern, for a 1960s-70s vibe silhouette.
* Vintage 60s sportswear-style 14 wale corduroy, T/C (20/80) blend.
* Brown: Californian Lot.674 and COWBOY Jacket.
* Indigo Blue: Californian Lot.674 and COWBOY Jacket.
Both our original “FROGSVILLE” and “HOOPER” FW2022 collections are 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 lookbook/preview features show samples, not necessarily reflecting quality/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 any existing classic wardrobe.
Thank you very much for your renewed support.
Love from Sunny California,
The Mister Freedom® team