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Cockpit USA

Suppliers of Fine Civilian and Military Apparel

  • 75th Anniversary of D-Day

     

    American Troops-approaching the beaches of German occupied Normandy France.

    Midnight, 5thofJune 1944 turned into 6th of June 1944, and a huge formation of aircraft flew in the nighttime sky above the English Channel heading from the English airfields south towards the coast of France carrying over 13,000 American Airborne troops. The heavily loaded young paratroopers were on board their C-47 transport aircraft by 10 pm that night. As the formation of aircraft crossed the French coast, the night came alive with anti aircraft fire. Planes that were hit, headed down in flames taking troops with them. By 1 AM on the morning of the 6th    June, the men began parachute jumping from the planes and silently floated to the ground to meet the German enemy in total darkness. The Douglas C-47 transport brought the war to Hitler’s doorstep and the liberation from German tyranny- the beginning of the end of WW II.

    USArmy Pathfinders, June 1944

    As hundreds of C-47s flew in darkness, the largest naval invasion fleet ever assembled moved through the sea channels between England and France towards the French coast. Thousands of vessels, many designed specifically for the mission at hand, carried men and machines to be delivered to the beaches of France. As dawn broke on the morning of June 6th, 1944 German defense artillery cannon units woke to find the horizon blotted out by the advancing fleet. The Allies had caught the German Army by surprise. Hitler’s generals had expected the invasion to come ashore at Calais, France, over 150 miles to the northeast, the shortest distance between England and France. Instead, the Allies had invaded France at beach sectors over a 50-mile stretch of the northern French Normandy coastline, the farthest distance across the channel between England and France.

    American citizen soldiers crossing the English Channel, June 1944

    Never before in the history of warfare had there been a more ambitious plan. The invasion required the movement of hundreds of thousands of men across the English Channel. Nearly 500,000 vehicles from jeeps, tanks, and trucks to artillery were delivered to storage areas throughout England for loading onto ships. Ammunition, fuel, and medical supplies were also sent to provide troops on the beaches marching inland to fight the Germans.

    2nd Infantry Division on the East Side sector of Omaha Beach, D+1, June 7th, 1944

    At the dawn of June 6th, 1944, many would never live to see the sun set. Thousands would die with their first steps onto French soil and thousands more would be wounded. The determination and will of the American citizen soldiers proved too much for the German defenses and the Americans broke through. German generals knew that if they did not push the Allies back into the sea that day, Germany’s war would be lost and in less than a year, it was. By May of 1945, Hitler was dead, and the Allied armies of America, Britain, Canada, France, and Russia were in Berlin, the German capital.

    Paratrooper about to jump into battle.

    Seventy-five years ago, while the free world held its breath, young men dropped from the sky and stepped from landing craft into combat. Today on a hill above the Normandy beach at Colleville sur Mer, over 9,000 graves in the American Cemetery bear silent witness to the events of June 6gh, 1944. Their lasting legacy is our Freedom.

    Today Cockpit USA honors the men who made the ultimate sacrifice by partnering with the pilots, crews, and sponsors of the D-Day Squadron for the 75thanniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy France. The “D-Day Squadron” as they call themselves, is the largest assembly of authentic WWII C-47 military transport aircraft and paratroopers since that fateful day.

    Dynamic Aviations Crew wearing their Cockpit USA 75th Anniversary D-Day A-2 jackets while in front of the C47 Miss Virginia 2019.

     

    D-Day Squadron Flight Crews in Prestwick Scottland on the way to the Duxford England while wearing Cockpit USA's 75th Anniversary Limited Edition D-Day Jacket.

    Our 75thAnniversary Limited Edition D-Day Jacket  is conceived to honor the 75th anniversary of the service and sacrifice of the American citizen soldiers who risked it all to bring about the end of WWII in Europe.

  • Cockpit USA Returns to New York Men's Fashion Week

    New York Men's Day/ Fashion Week Fall/Winter Presentation

    Kicking off NYFW, Cockpit USA released a hand-selected capsule of their upcoming F/W 2019 collection at the CFDA approved New York Men's Day. Located at 55 Water St. in downtown New York. Here's a sneak peek of what's to come from such a wonderful event celebrating the creativity of some of the biggest names in fashion.

    The Cockpit USA Fall/Winter presentation showcased an avant-garde take on the brand's most iconic military design: a traditional N3B Long Parka style in a warm "ranch" russet sheepskin and a striking leatherized sheepskin flight suit,  both within the company's traditional DNA.

     

    A hybrid take on a historical tanker jacket, in heavy, motorcycle cowhide leather boasting fireman's clasps hardware closures. Other standout pieces included a wax coated waterproof parka in stark glacial white and a new take on the military nylon N2B short leather hooded bomber jacket in slick heavy-duty goatskin trimmed coyote fur to ward off the show.

     

    Since 1975, Cockpit USA continues to take pride in preserving American History by telling stories through the design of their garments, honoring those who have, and continue to fight for our country. Cockpit USA outfitted their F/W 2019 Collection items on servicemen of the US Military both active and off duty.

    Benjamin Steele, Marine Corps
    Kyle Spellacy, US Army
    Everet Weston, US Army Veteran

    Government contractor since 1980, Cockpit USA features but is not limited to WWII military jackets. Introducing Iconic styles in modern, yet functional designs that are deeply rooted in history.

    Presenting to just to the right of Cockpit USA, the brand Krammer & Stoudt, debuted the Humphrey jacket; a hybrid collaboration designed by the brand’s creator Mike Rubenstein and Cockpit USA's president, Jeff Clyman.

    The Humphrey Jacket

    Attendance was in full swing with favorite faces such as; Eric Rutherford, Tom Bull, and actor Billy Porter.

    Tom Bull and Eric Rutherford

    "We don't consider ourselves a 'fashion brand', but we are an authentic brand that is fashionable." Says Jacky Clyman, EVP of  Cockpit USA. The presentation was curated and styled by Cockpit USA's Rudy Gonzales, and also included accessories and highlights provided by Slightly Alabama and Allen Edmonds with whom Cockpit USA is collaborating in the "Artisans of Freedom" made in USA project. Stay tuned for the launch of these amazing styles just in time for the next big chill.

    Models from left to right: Sonny Dang, Amir Kureshi, Andrew Mark, Everett Weston, Kyle Spellacy, and Benjamin Steele. Curator and stylist Rudy Gonzales and Cockpit USA owners Jacky and Jeff Clyman

    Special thanks to:

    Lab Series Skincare

     

     

  • Celebrating the heroic life of John "Jack" Lyle, one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen

    John “Jack” Lyle next to his fighter jet named after his first wife Natalie during WWII.

    “I don’t consider myself a hero because a hero is somebody who does something beyond the call of duty, I never did anything beyond the call of duty, whatever I did I did because I liked it” Fox News Channel May 4th 2018

    On this Black History Month Cockpit USA pays honor to one of the last surviving heroes of the iconic Tuskegee Airmen group of WWII. The Tuskegee Airmen were a group of black soldiers that defied expectations in a segregated military during a time when it was believed African-Americans couldn’t be trained in aviation. Their bravery and contributions helped promote inclusion in the advancement of the United States military.

    Photo of Tuskegee Airmen During WWII

    John “Jack” Lyle died on January 5th, 2019 at 98 years old in his home in the Chicago South Side. Lyle was a child musician, fighter pilot, cop, a sailor, an entrepreneur, and an amateur inventor. His wife Eunice Jackson-Lyle described him as an individual who loved to learn; “his home had a library stocked with encyclopedias and classic novels”. During his last days, Lyle spent his time at the Jackson Park Harbor on Lake Michigan, a perfect location for one of his many passions, sailing.

    “Captain Jack” as he was called by many loved ones was a highly skilled fighter pilot, "We flew 500 feet above the bombers to keep enemy fighters from hitting our guys," he recalled in a 2012 interview with Jet Magazine. "I loved flying, being up in the clouds, the scenery. I flew 26 combat missions, from southern Italy to Austria and southern Germany, over the Austrian Alps." Lyle also mentioned in the interview on how he was fired upon on several times and how he watched at first-hand other bombers being torn apart by the enemy. After the war, Lyle returned to his hometown of Chicago where he enlisted in college to then work as a skyscraper window washer. Lyle found other ventures after window washing; he worked as an insurance salesman to then owning his own fish and chicken restaurant and eventually a tree cutting service company.

    John "Captain Jack" Lyle, at his Chicago home, Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

    Lyle’s childhood dream came true in 1957 when he bought his first sailboat. The freedom he felt on the water fulfilled his competitive spirit. His intelligence and pilot experience made him an outstanding sailor, as he was quick to respond to any wind changes upon the horizon. The many years of practice paid off and Lyle eventually became a captain at the Jackson Park Yacht Club. Lyle's focus and love of sailing awarded him the title of  “Yachtsperson of the Year” by the Chicago Yachting Association at the age of 91, becoming the eldest person to receive the honor.

     

    John Lyle on Lake Michigan 2018

    With all of these recognitions none compare to the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by then president George W. Bush in 2007, which acknowledge Lyle’s achievements and bravery during WWII. All of these milestones never deterred Lyle’s humbleness as he never considered that what he did was award-worthy.

    U.S. Capitol. Arrival. Greeted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Statuary Hall. Photo opportunity with 300 Tuskegee Airmen prior to Ceremony.

    Today we pay respect an honor the legacy of an American champion. Surviving though his wife and three children, John “Captain Jack” Lyle is part of history. Lyle and many other men during WWII risked their lives to ensure that our freedoms at home were protected during a time of adversity. His service and the service of all Tuskegee Airmen is an important piece of the Civil Rights Movement that influenced unity within the military. Here’s to a man who lived to be free in the skies and on the water, rest in peace John “Captain Jack” Lyle.

  • The Iconic Cockpit USA Collection, styles designed to withstand the Test of Time

     

    One could be forgiven for mistaking film classics such as “Top Gun” and “Pearl Harbor” as just box office hits that drove movie ticket sales sky-high! Fortunately, Cockpit USA is here to remind you there is more...

    Top Gun Movie and Cockpit USA's "Movie Heroes" Top Gun Jacket

     

    We remember stories of war and tales of loss. Moments of love, heroism, and redemption. A time when young men and women dressed in uniform fought for a country they called home-the United States of America.

    It’s there in the shield of armor we call American Style that we immortalize these historical events.

    Movie Pearl Harbor and Cockpit USA's "Remember Pearl Harbor A-2 Flight Jacket

    Eight decades have passed since Amelia Earhart’s ill-fated flight across the Pacific but it’s her courageous step into harm’s way as the first female pilot to fly over the Pacific that inspires the narrative. It’s Earhart’s legend that still encourages young women in aviation today and also inspires our Amelia Jacket and coat.

    Amelia Earhart in front of the Lockheed Electra Plane next to Cockpit USA's Amelia Jacket.

     

    100 Mission Bomber inspired by General George S. Patton

    “It’s better to fight for something than to live for nothing”, said General George S. Patton whose decisive command decisions took the lead in the great Battle of Bulge in 1944. Patton’s highly recognized image taken during that fateful battle gives historical meaning to our B-3 sheepskin styles launched back in 1977.

    As art imitates life, we recount the story of American Heroes on the silver screen. Actors such as Tom Hardy and Cuba Gooding Jr. recreate these events in renowned films such as “Dunkirk” and “Red Tails”. While some may be true and others “inspired by”, it is the people that wore them that give them iconic immortality…

    Tom Hardy Wearing Cockpit USA's R.A.F Bomber Jacket next to Cockpit USA's Dunkirk Hooded R.A.F Sheepskin Jacket
    Jeff Clyman wearing his "100 Mission B-3 Bomber Jacket, and Jacky Clyman wearing her "Women's Top Gun Flight Jacket". Photos by Jürgen Frank from WIC Interview "The Jacket of Heroes"

    Since 1975, our mission at Cockpit USA is to preserve and continue to share this history through quality garments that are timeless, classic and iconic.

    Women's B-15 Bomber Jacket inspired by Marilyn Monroe

    Iconic Photoshoot - Captured by Daniel D'ottavio

  • The Motorcycle Jacket

    blog-motorcycle-jacket-2

    Cockpit USA Motorcycle Jackets

    The Motorcycle Jacket has reigned the “go-to” uniform for the rugged and the rebel since we can remember. Whether its the effortless style or the durable functionality, the notable look has become a must-have staple for any person who understands fashion, let me tell you why.

    Inspired by the rebels of yesterday, Cockpit USA has introduced a collection of unique and simplistic motocross designs. Most notable is our recent addition, “The Bullet Racer”named after the longest living motorcycle design in history, The Royal Enfield Bullet.

    Our Bullet Racer jacket (shown below), is a perfect complement to jeans and boots or just a white t-shirt and slim fit casuals. At home, on the street, or on the race track this windproof racer look dominated both the fashion runways and motorcycle riders alike for its flexible bi-swing feature and chic embellishments offer a polished yet tough look.

    The Dirt Track Racer, shown below, is patterned after the jackets worn by leather suited dirt bike racers of the 1950s. This racer shows modern features with a nod to a vintage moto racer designed in a contemporary fit.

    Finally, our innovative hybrid of a motorcycle jacket meets bomber flight jacket is aptly named, the “Motobomber”. Made of the softest lambskin leather for comfort and mobility, it is versatile enough to wear on a bike or donned on a night out with friends. Boasting shoulder details inspired by those worn by motorcycle racers; we also added an elastic waistband and cuffs, a typical flight bomber jacket detail that is also functional in keeping wind out.

    US Army Air Force 1944 in front of B-17. Tuskegee Airmen 1943 wearing sheepskin and A-2 Pilot Jackets. US Army Air Force 1944 in front of B-17. Tuskegee Airmen 1943 wearing sheepskin and A-2 Pilot Jackets.

    The motorcycle jacket became one of the items preferred by the rebels in music who became inspired by the iconic character of Johnny Strabler played by Marlon Brando in the film “The Wild One” in 1953. Brando’s ultra-masculine rendition gave bands like “The Beatles”, King of Rock n' Roll “Elvis Presley”, the Sex Pistols, and eventually Brooklyn’s own “The Ramones”, a passion to utilize this fashion trendsetter as a sleek and young statement. The motorcycle look represented the new generation’s desire to stand apart from the norm. The image of rebellion became a focus of people’s at a time when the younger generation fought the conservative upbringing of their parents.

    Marlon Brandon as Johnny Strabler from the film "The Wild One". Second the band "The Ramones" Marlon Brando as Johnny Strabler from the film "The Wild One". Second the band "The Ramones"

    Many other brands have their own take on the motorcycle jacket, from ultra sleek classic styles to ultra trendy interpretations with bright colors and intricate details. Nevertheless, the motorcycle jacket will forever be a contemporary item suited for almost every palate. Cockpit USA proudly adds to the design by using the most durable leather manufactured in the USA. The style will never stop being an iconic landmark of the transitional “item of cool”. No matter the decade, the motorcycle jacket is a must-have item in everyone’s closet.

  • Artisans Of Freedom Films

    "Born in America, raised in the skies" Fall 2018 saw the launch of Cockpit USA's collaboration with Allen Edmonds and the "Artisans of Freedom" project. Shot at the American Airpower Museum, watch The Cockpit USA story.

  • From Sails to jets and Beyond...

    The Continental US Navy was founded in Philadelphia on October 13th, 1775 when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating one of the cornerstones for the expansion of the United States into a global power. But it is the town of Whitehall in New York State, a town founded by a British Army Captain in 1759, that claims the honor of creating the first fighting ships known as the Valcour fleet. These ships sailed on Lake Champlain under the direction of General Arnold against the British Navy. Although they did not win the fight in 1776, the fleet stopped the British Naval efforts to invade the northern colonies via Lake Champlain, a major trading route southward from British controlled Canada.

    From left to right: Portrait of General Benedict Arnold, and a painting depicting the Battle of Valcour Island. (Painting: National Archives of Canada)
    A 1781 painting of John Paul Jones by Charles Willson Peale

    Generally recognized as one of the first heroes of our Continental Navy was a Scotsman named John Paul, who cleverly later added the “Jones” to his name in order to avoid un-pleasantries in England due to bad behavior. Nevertheless, John Paul Jones became a notable naval hero of the American Revolution wreaking havoc on the British Royal Navy with his small fleet of ships operating in European waters ultimately contributing to the American victory.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Aircraft from Carrier Air Wing 7 fly over USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Fast forward to our present-day Navy, whose backbone of might is based on aircraft carriers, airpower, nuclear submarines, and a relatively small fleet of surface warfare ships equipped with enough sophisticated power to “encourage” entire unfriendly nations into diplomatic agreements. The aircraft carrier became preeminent in WWII from 1942 to 1945 and the Navy combat pilots, deck crews and seaman became our heroes for generations.

    Tom Cruise wearing the "Top Gun" jacket next to Kelly McGillis

    The Navy pilots flew with leather flight jackets since the late 1920s as well as Bedford cord cotton flight jackets. The G-1 iconic flight jacket, originally called the M-422, was part of the pilot’s uniform since the mid- 1930s. Their leather jackets were decorated with squadron emblems and hand painted images, classically portrayed in many movies including the iconic1986 feature film “Top Gun” which became a worldwide symbol of carrier-based air power: Navy Jets, sailors, and pilots who flew in harm’s way recalling another era of the adventurous events of the sailing ships in combat during the American Revolution.

     

     

     

     

    The symbol of the legendary quality of iron men and wooden ships translated into the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of today along with the nostalgic and historic US Navy Pilot’s leather flight jacket has transcended USN history into an important and sought-after element of American culture. With guns, missiles, and lasers from high seas to high skies, the US Navy has a heck of a 243-year legacy.

  • An Air Force Second-To-None

    USAF F16 and P51 Mustang Heritage Flight

    Today, September 18th, 2018 we celebrate the 71st birthday of the United States Air Force. The Air Force traces its history back to 1907 when it became a division of the U.S Army Signal Corps just 4 years after the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC by the aviation pioneers the Wright Brothers. First tested in combat during WWI, matured during the years between the World Wars, and dominating the skies in combat during WWII and coming into its own as the U.S Army Air Corps, and in 1941 renamed the U.S Army Air Force during WWII the independent Air Force concept took shape.

    Mosquito FAC pilots Korean War1

    In the aftermath of World War Two, as aviation technology advanced rapidly into the jet age proponents of an independent service branch were heard loud and clear. As a function of the National Security of 1947 the U.S Air Force was born on September 18th of that year and would become what could be considered the first line of defense against the growing Soviet Threat of the post-war years, that would become known as the Cold War. Since its birth 71 years ago the USAF has dominated the skies over our adversaries and has held the edge of Air Superiority over our nations, and allies’ foes through its dedicated and skilled airmen, and it’s always evolving and ground-breaking technological advances.

    F-84 Pilots circa 1950

    On this occasion, we salute all the men and women who have served our nation as Airmen past and present as well as all those who have defended our nation through air dominance for 71 years. We are also very proud to have supported our airmen for over 35 years supplying high quality, made in the USA flight apparel including flight jackets, flight suits, and especially proud to have been a part of bringing back the A-2 flight jacket tradition to aircrews in 1987 on the occasion of the 40th birthday of the United States Air Force.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Happy 71st Birthday USAF!

    To learn more about our nation’s Air Force go to www.af.mil and see first-hand the amazing job our Airmen do every day, both at home and abroad.

    Hill AFB F-105D and F 1980s
  • 100 Years of The British Royal Air Force

    Today on this 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s Royal Air Force Cockpit USA commemorates the bravery and history our country’s strongest ally in Europe.  Our RAF sheepskin bomber jacket represents the epitome of English heroism during WWII. Worn over London skies in the summer of 1940 by English fighter pilots flying Spitfire and Hurricane fighters in air battles against Nazi air forces, this bomber jacket provided the warmth and freedom of movement needed during combat.

    Click here for 20% off on our RAF Fighter Weight Sheepskin Bomber Jacket. Offer valid from March 30-April 3rd 2018

    Pilots in the RAF tailored their jackets to shear down the wool to allow more freedom of movement. We at Cockpit USA have introduced a short sheared sheepskin version light enough to wear with a sweater or other layering pieces. We also commemorate the efforts of the RAF by showcasing a beautiful R.A.F belt buckle inspired by the British crown insignia.  On this anniversary Cockpit USA introduces our new "RAF Eagle Squadron Tee" which pays respect to the three fighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force formed with volunteer pilots from the United States. We honor the achievements of one of the most important military units ever assembled and focus on the its development by looking back at its early years of service during WWI and WWII.

    jets-throughout-history-2

    The British Royal Air Force was formed on April 1, 1918 as an integration of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The development of British flight engineering began years later after the American brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made the fist ever flight of self-propelled heavier than air aircraft flight in 1903. This gave birth to the Royal Naval Flying School at Eastchurch, Kent on December 1911. The school was eventually integrated into the Royal Flying Corps forming a new airplane squadron. Soon after, the specifications of the navy introduced the RNAS.

    Montrose-Royal-Flying-Corps-officers-and-an-airmen-background-from-No-2-Squadron-pose-in-front-of-a-BE-2-biplane WWI Montrose-Royal-Flying-Corps-officers-and-an-airmen-background-from-No-2-Squadron-pose-in-front-of-a-BE-2-biplane WWI
    RAF Aircrew in front of a Hurricane Aircraft 1940 RAF Aircrew in front of a Hurricane Aircraft 1940
    RAF Pilots, 1940 somewhere in England RAF Pilots, 1940 somewhere in England

    On August 4th 1914 Britain declared war on Germany and entered WWI. The British RFC only had 84 aircraft while the RNAS had 71. Germany’s advance technologies gave it great advantage during air strikes, which crippled towns in England through damaging bombings. This disadvantage caused the British military to create a separate ministry, which could focus on the development of strategic air bombing against Germany.

    WRAF Servicewoman WWII WRAF Servicewoman WWI

    It was on April 1st, 1918 that the RAF was born incorporating a female group called the Women’s Royal Air Force. The WRAF came forth after the concern of the loss of specialized female workforce. The WRAF fell into two categories; one fell under “immobiles” as they stayed attached to their local station. The second category being “mobile” lived in quarters on or near the workplace and could be transferred elsewhere if needed. The WRAF held the reputation of becoming the most professional and disciplined of all women’s service due to the strict guidelines imposed by the RAF. The WRAF came to and end on August 1919 and became an individual asset to the RAF as a whole, their bravery and call to action to a country in need held these women as one of the most important service groups during WWI.

    By the end of the first World War on November 11,1918, the RAF had dropped 5,500 tons of bombs and claimed 2,953 enemy aircraft destroyed, gaining clear air superiority along the Western Front and contributing to the Allied victory over Germany and the other Central Powers. It had also become the largest air force in the world at the time, with some 300,000 officers and airmen—plus 25,000 members of the WRAF—and more than 22,000 aircraft.

    The RAF expanded quickly due to the outbreak of the Second World War. The men of the regular pre-war air force were joined by those from the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, formed in 1924 to provide a reserve of manpower, and the RAF Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR), who were put on the active list when war was imminent and who were vital to the RAF's performance, particularly during the Battle of Britain. During the Second World War the RAF fought in every major theatre, the Battle of Britain being the most famous campaign where Britain fought the superior German Air Forces, blocked the Luftwaffe air supremacy over southern England and therefore preventing the German invasion of England.

    Photo of French Pilot flying with original RAF Jacket Photo of French Pilot flying with original RAF Jacket. Click here for Cockpit USA's RAF Sheepskin Bomber Jacket

    The rapid expansion of the RAF came to life after the absorption of the men and planes of the air forces of the British Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. This also included European countries in exile fighting against the Nazis such as Poland, Czech Republic, France, and Belgium as well as British Indian colonials and British West Indian recruits. During World War II the RAF reached a total power of 1.2 million men and women, of whom 185,000 were aircrew. Unfortunately about 70 thousand personnel were killed. The British Royal Air Force will forever be known as one of the most significant professional groups ever assembled and a true ally to the United States of America.

    British bomber crews during a mission in 1942, North Africa British bomber crews during a mission in 1942, North Africa

     

     

     

     

  • Jacky Clyman on International Women's Day

    This month we observe International Women's Day on March 8th and we would like to spotlight someone near and dear to us, our Vice President Jacky Clyman. Jacky is an inspiration to many that work at Cockpit USA and a role model to women who are veterans in the workforce as well as those starting their journey. We recently asked Jacky a couple of questions during her never ending day, and found her story to be one of passion, focus, and defiance.

    Photo Taken by Jürgen Frank Image of Jacky Clyman Photographed by Jürgen Frank while wearing the Vintage Walking Out Coat

     

    Jacky Clyman is known to her family and colleagues not only as a devoted mother and EVP of Cockpit USA but most importantly a strong businesswoman who is a true force to be reckoned with. Prior to joining her husband’s vision of launching a brand that would replicate historical flight and military styles, Jacky worked as an Executive Director of Pro Musicis, a not-for profit foundation sponsoring outstanding classical soloists and bringing their talents to those who would have very little chance to hear them. “While I was working as the Executive Director of Pro Musicis, my husband Jeff decided to launch a brand that would recreate all of the iconic flight and military styles that were only available at that time in surplus stores. Remember that the A-2 jacket, for example, had not been issued since 1943. It was also during the turmoil of the Vietnam War, when Americans were feeling that the whole world thought poorly of them, that Jeff wanted to create “real American icons” and remember those who fought and wore these pieces. Thus was born the first mail order catalog for the brand”. Jacky decided to leave the non for profit world, joining forces with Jeff Clyman to fulfill their vision of what is now Cockpit USA, quoting that she would be the “administrative” arm of the business.

     

     

    Jacky Clyman’s venture into the apparel business began out of passion for aviation. Being an “Air Force brat”, Jacky understood the pilot and military lifestyle that ultimately became the business module that is Cockpit USA. Throughout the years Jacky confronted challenges of being an entrepreneur, especially as a woman. “Learning how to work with foreign customers whose language I did not master was one of my fondest memories” said the multi-lingual woman who’s first job was as an interpreter for the U.S. State Department. “While in negotiations with a Japanese company for a whole day thinking we were on the verge of signing an agreement, only to realize that what I had been interpreting as acceptance of “terms” was just an acknowledgement that they had understood what I had been saying, not formally agreeing to it”. These are just some of experiences that shaped Jacky’s career.

     

    For Jacky, the apparel business is no different than any other sector as it always involves politics and egos. “Telling men what to do especially when I was in my 30’s, realizing that a woman in a position of power was considered a ‘bitch on wheels’ while a man would simply be considered assertive” became one of the obstacles Jacky had to face in 42 years in the industry. According to Jacky through many changes have advanced women in the work place, the one thing that has not changed has been the perception of others while entering the room with Cockpit USA’s president Jeff Clyman; and still being considered the designer and not the administrative arm. Today Jacky remains a strong figure in the business aspects of Cockpit USA, providing her employees with support and feedback in design, sales, and marketing, as well as superb customer service. When asking Jacky what she would say to young women joining the workforce today she simply said “I wouldn’t just give advise to young women but to all women joining the business: it’s a tough business and a real roller coaster, so be prepared for it”.

     

     

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