Photos: Dan Chen
Releasing this Friday, December 16th both in-store and online is our first collaboration project with Dehen Knitting Company. Founded in 1920, this family-owned business has been proudly manufacturing heavy duty outerwear from their headquarters in Portland, OR since their inception. Dehen is first and foremost a knitter, specializing in heavyweight woolens and ribbings which feature heavily on their sweaters, jackets and outerwear pieces; they got their start making collegiate sweaters and expanded into motorcycle club sweaters in the 30s. In the 50s, Dehen began manufacturing varsity jackets and that’s the style that we sought them out for in this first collaboration. We’ve had the good fortune of exhibiting side-by-side with Dehen at various tradeshows and have become pretty well acquainted with their product as we share many retail accounts. When it came time to produce a letterman jacket of our own, there was no question who we’d turn to. Although Dehen makes clean, undecorated varsity jackets for the most part these days, we knew that a traditional varsity was a part of their company’s DNA, so we approached them with the concept and they brought it to completion in a way that far exceeded our expectations.
Every single patch on the jacket is custom made exclusively for the garment, and was custom designed for us by our friends at Studio Mast in Denver, CO. We began our design process by digging through vintage examples for inspiration and slowly began to envision what kinds of high school clubs or activities the quintessential 3sixteen customer would be involved in. Longtime fans know how formative jazz music is to our brand, so we began to imagine a high school letterman that paid homage to that passion.
Travis and Amanda at Studio Mast took our concepts and drew out a bevy of of instruments, shapes and icons that fell in line with what you’d find on a vintage band or jazz ensemble jacket; we then worked together with them to figure out the perfect arrangement. What’s extra special about this partnership is the fact that Travis’ father, upon retiring from teaching, was a varsity jacket salesman and worked with high schools to design custom lettering and decorations for their jackets (as well as caps, gowns, and class rings). Having grown up immersed in the world of letterman jackets, Travis was particularly excited to dive in and help us produce a jacket that was authentic to our inspiration point.
Every component of the Dehen for 3sixteen Letterman Jacket - from wool to ribbing to decoration - is made in the USA. The jacket retails for $1100 and launches on 3sixteen.com this Friday, December 16th, at noon EST. You can find it in store via our NY & LA flagships on the same day.