Update: 12:44 PM EST (July 22, 2021)- Correction: This article incorrectly identified Andrew Berg as president of Centric when initially published.
The leather jacket aficionados at Avirex are gearing up to release a new collection, marked by the return of the Icon jacket. Famously worn by Nas in Belly, the jacket has been made available for order on the Avirex website. Led by the tagline “icons never fade,” the jacket retails at $1,298 and comes in black, red, blue, and white leather. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the re-release of the jacket precedes a new collection due this summer with new styles for the fall.
The collection is scheduled for release on Aug. 15, with 27 men’s jackets including A1 bomber jackets and varsity jackets, puffer jackets, and shearlings. Items range in price from $398 to $1,498 and will be offered in multiple colors.
“This new chapter will appeal to the original Avirex enthusiasts who value the heritage of the brand and to a new generation inspired by Avirex’s nostalgia and reflection of today’s luxury streetwear culture,” said Andrew Berg, president Avirex in a statement. Centric Brands now owns Avirex as well as Robert Graham, Zac Posen, and Hudson Jeans.
“These jackets are as unique as the people who wear them and are timeless cross-generational collector pieces,” explained Berg.
According to WWD, Berg’s launch team includes talent that previously worked with Avirex including vice president of design Mia DellOsso-Caputo, a member of the design team during the height of the brand’s popularity, and Mindy Gale of Gale Branding who once lead Avirex’s marketing efforts. Together, they have issued a campaign featuring Rudy Gay of the San Antonio Spurs; DJ John Lutchman, aka “The Brooklyn Kid”; artist Sean “Belchez” Cort; surfer Jimmy Boos; artist Basil Lyons; Los Angeles-based muralist and graffiti artist Ladie One, and B-boy Crazy Legs. B-boy Crazy Legs also appeared in an Avirex campaign more than two decades ago.
Gale shared the central idea of the campaign is “legacy and history and bring it forward.”
Berg hopes to expand the brand into sportswear during spring 2022. Avirex was founded in 1975 by Jeff Clyman to create military apparel. In the 1980s and 1990s, the leather jackets became a staple in hip-hop culture popularized by the likes of The Notorious B.I.G., Diddy, then known as Puff Daddy, and Snoop Dogg. Celebrities from the new generation, such as Lil Baby, Meek Mill, and Roddy Ricch, have recently sported the brand.
Watch a clip of Nas rocking the jacket in 1998’s Belly.