Avirex Leather Jacket-Letterman Jacket-Varsity jacket

What is the history of Avirex Jacket

What is the history of Avirex Jacket


In 1975, Jeff Clyman founded Avirex with a vision deeply rooted in the rich history of aviation. The brand's name, a portmanteau of "aviation expression," reflects its commitment to capturing the essence of flight in its designs. Clyman, captivated by the timeless allure of vintage leather flight jackets, sought to revive and pay homage to their iconic style.

Military Influence:

Avirex quickly distinguished itself by delving into the realm of military-inspired fashion. Specializing in the recreation of World War II-era flight jackets, the brand became synonymous with authenticity and precision. The jackets, particularly those modeled after the U.S. Air Force's iconic outerwear, garnered widespread attention for their historical accuracy and attention to detail.


A cornerstone of Avirex's success lies in its unwavering commitment to authenticity. The brand's meticulous approach to design involves an in-depth study of original military jackets. Avirex spared no expense in sourcing high-quality materials and employing skilled craftsmanship to recreate the exact look and feel of the historical pieces. This dedication to accuracy endeared Avirex to enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Cultural Impact:

As Avirex jackets made their mark on the fashion scene, they transcended their utilitarian roots to become cultural symbols. Beyond being functional outerwear, Avirex jackets evolved into statements of style and attitude. Their influence permeated various subcultures, with a notable presence in the world of hip-hop. Influential artists adopted Avirex jackets as a key element of their signature look, further propelling the brand into the spotlight of popular culture. The jackets became not just garments but expressions of identity and a connection to a storied past.

Avirex's journey from the meticulous recreation of military jackets to cultural icon status speaks to the brand's ability to blend history with contemporary style, creating a lasting impact that goes beyond the realm of fashion.

Licensing Controversy:

In the 1990s, Avirex found itself embroiled in a licensing controversy that added a unique chapter to its history. The U.S. Air Force took legal action against the brand, alleging trademark infringement. The crux of the matter was the unauthorized use of Air Force emblems on Avirex jackets. The lawsuit emphasized the need for permission to use military insignia in commercial products. This legal battle prompted Avirex to make adjustments to its designs, ensuring compliance with licensing agreements and avoiding further disputes.

Evolution of Styles:

Avirex's journey goes beyond its roots in military reproductions. Over time, the brand adapted to changing fashion landscapes, showcasing a remarkable evolution in its styles. While maintaining a connection to aviation and military aesthetics, Avirex expanded its range to include diverse fashion elements. The brand's designers skillfully incorporated contemporary trends without losing the timeless appeal that made Avirex synonymous with classic jackets. This adaptability allowed Avirex to stay relevant and appeal to a broader audience.

Pop Culture References:

Avirex jackets have cemented their place in popular culture through prominent appearances in movies, TV shows, and music videos. Notable films like "Top Gun" and "The Right Stuff" featured Avirex leather jacket, contributing to their iconic status. The brand's military-inspired designs added an authentic touch to on-screen characters, further enhancing their cultural significance. Avirex's presence in the entertainment industry not only boosted its visibility but also solidified its connection to the essence of aviation and adventure.

Collector's Items:

Vintage Avirex jackets have transcended their status as mere clothing items, becoming coveted collector's items. Enthusiasts are drawn to these jackets not only for their stylish appeal but also for the craftsmanship and historical significance they embody. The unique blend of military heritage and fashion aesthetics has created a niche market for vintage Avirex pieces. The limited availability of certain designs and the scarcity of well-preserved jackets have contributed to their allure, driving demand among collectors who appreciate the authenticity and story behind each garment. In the world of fashion, Avirex's transition into collectibles speaks to its enduring impact and the timeless appeal of its designs.

Global Recognition:

Avirex's impact extends far beyond the borders of the United States, earning the brand widespread recognition on the global stage. Its military-inspired jackets resonated with fashion enthusiasts worldwide, contributing to Avirex's presence in diverse fashion scenes. The brand's ability to capture the essence of aviation history in its designs transcended cultural boundaries, making Avirex a symbol of style and authenticity that resonates with individuals from various corners of the globe. The international embrace of Avirex reflects its universal appeal and the enduring fascination with its distinct blend of military and fashion aesthetics.


Avirex, despite facing challenges and controversies, has carved out a lasting legacy in the annals of the fashion industry. The brand's commitment to timeless style, unwavering quality, and a respectful nod to aviation history has secured its place in fashion history books. Avirex's influence goes beyond trends; it represents a fusion of heritage and contemporary expression that continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts. The legacy of Avirex is not just in the garments it produced but in the mark it left on the perception of military-inspired fashion. The brand's endurance through changing fashion landscapes underscores the enduring power of a well-crafted, authentic style. As time unfolds, Avirex remains a testament to the idea that fashion with a genuine connection to history can transcend fleeting trends and leave an indelible mark on the industry.

Back to blog