Inspired by the A1 flight jacket, Massimo Osti designed his own version of this classic military jacket at the end of the 1980s. The C.P. Company flight jacket was first introduced in 1990. It was made from 50 fili, C.P. Company's most iconic material and of course garment dyed. In the first half of the 1990s it would be part of every C.P. Company collection as a 'Continuative Garment'. At its peak 25.000 pieces of the flight jacket were sold in one single season.
C.P. Company SS 1990 Flight Jacket (source: Massimo Osti Archive)
History of the A1 flight jacket
The A1 was the first flight jacket ever produced and was standardised in 1927 by the US Navy. It would formally be used by the US Air Force for only four more years, before the A2 flight jacket replaced it.
As was common in those times, the A1 flight jacket was produced by a number of contractors. The common characteristics of the jacket were as follows.
- Leather (goatskin, horsehide or sheepskin)
- Knitted collar, hem and cuffs
- Two flap pockets on front
- Button closure
One important reason why the A1 flight jacket was replaced after just four years was the introduction of the modern zip in 1931.
The A1 flight jacket in modern times
Even though the A1 flight jacket formally lasted for only four years, it's still very much present in menswear ninety years later. Thanks to its versatile use, comfortable fit and effortless style.
A brand that made the A1 jacket as a casual wear item long before Massimo Osti did, is Italian brand Valstar. They started producing the jacket in 1935 and over the decades turned it into a staple of the Italian wardrobe. It's the reason why people often refer to a modern A1 as a 'Valstarino jacket'.