While William Gibson was writing 'Pattern Recognition,' his 2003 novel set in the terrifying world of modern marketing, he received a letter from a friend living in Asia who was scouring Tokyo for a Buzz Rickson's MA-1 flight jacket. Gibson, 55 and a science fiction legend, wasn't familiar with the heritage military outerwear company, but he liked the name "Buzz Rickson." His friend's dream coat sounded cool, so he dressed his protagonist, Cayce Pollard, in a similar jacket.
"For various reasons, [I] made it black," Gibson told 'Men's Journal.' "When the book was published, Buzz Rickson began to get letters requesting the black jacket, but they'd never made that one in black. And that was how it all started."
The "it" would be the famed novelist's ongoing collaboration with Rickson. He's helped design several coats for the company and his newest is the B-29 Grosgrain, which tops a chunky, insulated body with a plush shearling collar. Like much of his other work, Gibson's jacket seems like an homage to both the past and the future. The jacket conjures images of WWII flight schools and the darker corners of Chiba City, where Henry Dorsett Case plans his assault on an artificially intelligent network in 'Neuromancer.'
"I love Buzz Rickson's gonzo build quality, the sleepless historical obsessiveness, the effortlessly genuine anti-fashion oomph of their clothing," says Gibson, whose collections have always tended toward the puffy and martial.
Given that Gibson predicted the rise of the Internet and coined the term cyberspace, men would do well to trust his ability to spot a trend. If the B-29 Grosgrain isn't cool yet, just wait. [$690; selfedge.com]