Avirex is an iconic brand with a rich history that spans over several decades. Its roots can be traced back to a small factory in Long Island, New York, where skilled craftsmen produced limited quantities of leather jackets for the US military during the early 20th century.
While the exact date of the factory's inception remains unclear, it is widely believed that the leather flight jackets were produced between the two World Wars. The jackets were designed to meet the rigorous demands of military pilots, providing both comfort and protection in extreme conditions.
However, by the 1960s, rising manufacturing costs prompted the US Navy to cancel production of the American-made G1 jacket. The Army had already discontinued the A2 and B3 jackets, and the small Long Island factory was in danger of closing its doors for good.
In the mid-1970s, an Arizona lawyer came up with the idea of marketing the leather Air Force jackets to the general public. He registered the trademark Avirex, which was a reference to the Air Force and possibly to the Long Island factory of its origins. By 1975, Avirex was reborn into the commercial world and quickly gained popularity among fashion enthusiasts who appreciated the vintage look of the leather jackets.
Avirex was the first company to produce high-quality antique leather jackets, unlike stone-washed or distressed jeans. The aging treatment for leather was without precedent at that time, but Avirex rose to the challenge and created a range of superior chino pants and jackets that satisfied the call for the vintage look of leather seen in movies and advertising. The brand's popularity skyrocketed in the 1980s, thanks to its association with Hollywood films and legendary American aviation heroes. In 1984, Avirex supplied the jackets and chinos worn by Sam Shephard for his role as Chuck Yeager in the movie "The Right Stuff." In 1986, Avirex created the aviator jacket for Tom Cruise's role in "Top Gun," the movie about a legendary American Navy flying school.
In the years that followed, Avirex expanded its global reach, opening European subsidiaries in Paris and Italy. Today, Avirex clothing is worn by numerous actors, musicians, and sports heroes, including Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Eminem, Shaquille O'Neal, and Ben Affleck. The Real Madrid soccer team even elected to wear Avirex chinos and polo shirts for two seasons running.
From conception to the finished product, Avirex's goal is to provide the consumer with the finest quality performance garments in the world. For Avirex, quality is the only luxury that should never be overlooked. Today, the brand is recognized and distributed worldwide.