PERIME’S MILITARY SURPLUS ARCHIVE

The Perime Magazine pop-up store in Boston, titled “Expired”, features a wide breadth of clothing for you to shop, and our curators are constantly bringing in more. One of our strongest collections is our military surplus offerings, which consist of decades of functional designs that inform the runway season after season. Today I’m going to take you through several of the pieces we have available for purchase, and I encourage you to come down to Expired to discover more. 

The German Army Trainer has a shaky history, with credit for the design being debated between Puma and Adidas. Before the shoe was known as the GAT, it was known as the shoe that Jesse Owens wore when he won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. In the seventies, the Bundeswehr (federal defence) ordered an updated version of the shoe to be used for training, and the German Army Trainer was officially mass produced. As the shoe left the military and was appropriated by civilians in the next two decades, a young Martin Margiela discovered a pair in a second hand shop, and today, the Margiela replica is one of the company’s staples. The GAT has also influenced the Dior B01 and the Adidas BW Army sneaker. Of course, the influence of the GAT pales in comparison to a later Bundeswehr sneaker, the XC-09, which has its history detailed in one of my past articles, “The Undeniable Influence of the XC-09”

German Army Trainers

Parkas and Anoraks like the M49 were ideal for covering the body and cut to accommodate the gear soldiers would carry during World War II. Occasionally, like the one we have available in Expired, they would contain fur sewn into the cuffs and hood for added warmth. This garment would directly influence the Astro Biker Parka that appeared in Helmut Lang’s aw99 show, séance de travail. Helmut Lang appropriated many other military designs, including the M69 flak jacket and a number of sweaters.

A selection of military outerwear, M42 pictured far right

Of course, at Expired you will also find a selection of classics such as the M41, M51, and M65, field jackets that were normalized into everyday civilian wear long ago. Though every fast-fashion and replica brand under the sun releases modern versions, nothing beats the authenticity of the real thing, with our jackets being original down to the zippers and buttons. If this brief taste of our military surplus archive interested you, be sure to visit Expired to shop the collection, and if you want to learn more about the history of the military surplus after-market, check out my article “Bannerman’s Castle and Military Surplus in America” 

-Ian Gordon

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