He’s often called “The Man With the Hat,” but let’s not forget the jacket. Indiana Jones is one of the most visually iconic characters in film history, and his brown leather jacket is essential to the look. It’s rugged and cool — just like the adventurer who wears it.
Sgt. David Hack, CEO of US Wings, on his history with Lucasfilm and his company’s line of Indy replica jackets.
For those who’ve long admired Dr. Jones’ famous jacket, US Wings can help you channel your inner Indy: the apparel company is now the official licensee of Indiana Jones jackets, and has released a handsome collection of replicas. It’s a long time coming for US Wings CEO Sgt. David Hack, who has loved Indiana Jones since he saw Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, and tried to secure a license during its initial theatrical run. “I reached out to George Lucas with my attorney and we had, I thought, a very good meeting,” Hack says. “At that time, he did not have any licensees to my knowledge, but he kept the paperwork in his desk. And then last winter, Lucasfilm Consumer Products reached out to me and wanted to talk about what we could do together. And said that they still had all the paperwork that I submitted way back when.”
US Wings’ Indy range includes several variations made from different materials that result in subtle differences in color and texture. There are also kid versions for future archeologists. “Our jackets are absolutely, positively awesome,” Hack says. “They’re the best of the best of the best. Just plain and simple. Whenever we make a jacket, we keep one thing in mind: that that jacket’s going to stay in that family or be sold to someone else. They’re made to last at least 50 years minimum, so people get excited about them.” According to Hack, “90 percent” of the jackets are made in the US, with a smattering of elements coming from other countries.
In addition to the jackets, US Wings has also created the “Indiana Jones Adventure Bag,” similar to the WWII-era British MK VII respirator bag. “The bag started in World War I. After World War I, it took hold in World War II. The bag is canvas and it’s strong, it’s durable. The leather is strong and durable. And Indiana Jones, in every movie, has that bag,” Hack says. “So we looked at the bag and we said, ‘Okay, let’s offer something a little different. Let’s offer the bag in different sizes.’” The largest bag can carry a laptop, and each version is versatile enough for almost anywhere. “You can use it for sporting, you can use it on the beach, you can use it in the office, you can use it anywhere.”
With Indy on his final adventure in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, audiences have the chance to see their hero on the big screen one last time. Hack, an Army veteran who friends call “Sarge,” has his own feelings about why the character still resonates — and why there’s something about that jacket. “There is a little Indy in all of us,” he says. “It’s not a dream, it’s not a fixation. It’s just built inside you. It’s the spirit, it’s the excitement, it’s the thrill. It’s being an individual. And when he puts that jacket on, he feels different. He really does. It’s hard to explain, but you become part of that excitement. And you can’t put a price tag on that.”
US Wings’ Indiana Jones jackets are available now.
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