Andrew Livingston, owner of Knickerbocker MFG Co. out of Brooklyn, NY and Travis Weaver of Manready Mercantile began talking at Liberty Fair back in 2015 about their love of history, the military and workwear… specifically Frenchworkwear. Together they came up with their take on the “French Blues” chore coat and created the KMFG x Manready Mercantile Indigo Chore Coat.
These jackets first arose during the nineteenth century, and back then the indigo dye was actually incredibly inexpensive, so they were perfect for French factory workers who were looking for nothing more than a smock to protect their clothes from the grit and grime that came pouring off their machines. They were loose fitting and came equipped with four pockets across the front, adding to the practicality of the piece and allowing workers to keep whatever they needed close at hand.
A pattern for the silhouette was taken from the KMFG Service Chore Coat, an item based loosely off that of the USMC N-3 Utility Fatigue coats. Once the guys game up with a general overview of how they wanted to jacket to look, the team got to work.
For authenticity sake, Andrew used shuttle loomed, PFD (prepared for dye), herringbone cotton twill from Japan. A twill almost identical in comparison to that of the French & USMC coats. For the buttons, the iconic laurel wreath, single-starred tack buttons, which were prominently used throughout USMC and worn as a symbol of good luck. For a tag detail inside the coat, vintage cotton and linen blend material was sourced with a selvedge edge. Travis also stumbled across some old WWII-era love letters for a little “touch” that would be sent out with each coat. Lastly, the guys teamed up on a back label design to bring it all together.
The goal of these jackets is to pay respect to heritage and history; to bring something back to life that will proudly be handed down for generations to come. The Indigo Chore Coat was designed with the utmost pride and attention to detail and strived to create something so well-made that you’ll have it forever.
Due to the extensive washing, the coats do fit smaller than your standard chore coat, so it’s recommended you go up a size when ordering. Available now in limited quantities.