DOWN

goosenewyork1990

One of the jacket stories that I’m always down for being schooled in is in the ways of the leather goose down. At least the 8-Ball coat had a specific source in the shape of Michael Hoban. This one seems a little more troublesome to locate. We know that Eddie Bauer patented the traditional goose down, but who made the first leather one? All answers in the comment section will be appreciated. Bauer definitely did some and Orvis and Schott have variations (that’s an investigation for another day). I know my friends at Double Goose in Paris were remaking the classic for those of us who wanted some Rakim/’Raising Hell‘ dope dealer attire, but its place in hi-hop lore dates back to the 1970s, when Goose Country created a feather-filled leather. In the 1980s Adam Spencer and Double Goose Country emerged as the prominent makers of this coveted mode of everyday insulation. Reputedly, DGC put more down into their designs than GC and it’s those stuffed creations that Double Goose pays tribute to. From interviews I conducted for a lost feature from 2008, the jackets were traditionally Korean made and sold at Canal Street spots and in NYC’s garment districts, with no central store or advertising in place (salutes to 4 Star General and Passenger too).

Triple F.A.T. Goose seemed to emerge as the prominent goose down jacket brand in the late 1980s but I’ve never connected it to leather wear. Triple F.A.T. has always seemed more of a Canada Goose homage to me, whereas Turbo Sportswear‘s (the company that owned TFG and would also be Phat Farm and Outkast Clothing affiliated) First Down brand (who seemed to seemed to be a response to the popularity of The North Face with an inner-city audience and had a trademark skirmish with Marmot a few years back). The New York magazine piece from 1990 on the F.A.T. Goose phenomenon includes an L.E.S. store owner alleging that the brand stole the V-panel from Double Goose Country and that the latter made that coat as a response to the jacket the notorious Larry Davis was wearing when he was arrested. It’s an entertaining theory, but street guys like Larry are the original influencers at street level and key to popularising that design.

larrydavis
(image via the New York Times)