The story of our Japanese cargo, inspired by a Swedish army deadstock item from the APPLIED ART FORMS archive

Swedish army deadstock

Our DM1-1 Cargos were derived from an original Swedish army deadstock item from our archives. The sample item was in a very large size but we loved the volume they created on the leg. In order to retain this volume and be wearable we added pleats to bring the waist in and darts at the bottom of the leg to create a slight balloon silhouette.

Cargo pants are so named because they typically have rectangular pockets on the hips or legs – we don’t have those, but we added a large rear patch pocket which nods to the utilitarian heritage of the style. These pants can be worn without turn-ups but my preference for them is to add one turn at the bottom – and in warmer weather, two turns give a slightly cropped look.

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Japanese fabrics

The material selected for the original DM1-1 Cargo is a Japanese Cordura – an extremely durable blend of cotton and nylon with a beautiful hand feel. Cordura can be traced back to the DuPont company in the 1920s and at the time was an extremely advanced fabric technology.

For our spring drop of 2023, we added new DM1-1 Cargos made of a 100% cotton high density Japanese canvas. Our cargos are garment dyed which means they are cut and sewn in Japan in a plain fabric and then colour is added after the garment is complete – this is a beautiful way to colour a garment as it gives an uneven tonal finish across differing materials and generally ages and fades in a beautiful way.

We also added the DM1-1 in a 10oz Japanese selvedge denim made of 100% USA cotton. The denim is a replica version of vintage USA carpenter jeans and has a natural slub texture, giving an authentic denim look with wear over time. The denim cargo is given a half rinse, preserving a raw denim feel that is comfortable on the skin.

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Apollo-era spacesuits

Notable details of the cargo include the use of a tape button on the waist, which involves using a small piece of woven tape to securely attach the button instead of thread, making it extremely strong. The inspiration for the rear patch came from Apollo-era spacesuits: a simple piece of white fabric containing a utilitarian slab of text and applied with zig-zag stitching – this detail as well as the internal crotch reinforcement is applied across all A/A/F pant styles.

A/A/F DM1-1 cargos are available in a broad size range in black and military green colour ways, as well as in dark indigo denim. Our latest DM1-1 version made of cotton canvas is available in cold ecru, with optional hand-stencilled prints. Try the short version – our DM3-3 Cargo Short – for summer; available in black, military green and ecru.

Guy Berryman, Creative Director

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