Military Clothing Supplier to Launch…Civilian Fashion Line


John Varvatos Spring '12

A military-inspired Spring 2012 look from John Varvatos, one of the menswear companies Massif Collection hopes to compete with.

Would your boyfriend wear fashion from a military clothing company that specializes in flame-retardant shirts and body armor?  Massif, a military supplier based in Oregon, is betting on it.  The company is entering the world of civilian style this January, with a new, non-combat range called Massif Collection.

The line will offer much of the crisp military styling of current men’s fashion, only with the actual heritage to back it up.  And though none of the garments will be vetted for wear in the combat theater (currently Massif makes the only shirt for the actual military that is approved for such use), they’ll offer other active functions — many of the pieces in the new collection will be anti-microbial, designed to wick away moisture, or feature hidden pockets.

Massif has created prototypes (that word seems more appropriate than “samples,” even if it is merely a civilian line) but images won’t be available until the first collection debuts at Pitti Uomo, the Italian menswear trade show for menswear, in January.  That said, expect something reasonably luxurious — Scott Branscum, formerly of Perry Ellis and Eddie Bauer, was hired to facilitate Massif’s entry into the fashion industry.  He says the company is looking to get Massif Collection into stores like Bloomingdale’s and Fred Segal.

So, will the military heritage factor be a significant draw for the upscale, urban consumer the brand hopes to attract?  If the back story isn’t enough, the fit probably will be — though the garments won’t repel flames like their combat-ready predecessors, they’ve been designed with the concerns of a soldier in mind.  Special attention has been paid to hidden stretch, gusseted sleeves, and a range of non-chafing, movement-permitting detail.  Too bad this isn’t debuting in time for Christmas!  Those sound like qualities most guys wouldn’t turn down.


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