Thunderbird_AZ_41SepSect 77914d1301963926-how-do-you-remember-phoenix-stories-thunderbird-field history0510 image_preview tower_061-674x380 thunderbird-eastman-08 Thunderbird Field was a military airfield in Glendale, Arizona, used for contract primary flight training of USAAF pilots during World War II. Created in 1939 as a collaborative project by Hollywood agent and producer Leland Hayward, former Air Service pilot John H Connely, and LIFE Magazine photographer John Swope, the project was financially backed by investors that included Hollywood legend James Stewart ( later commander of the USAAF 445th Bomb Group), singer-actor Hoagy Carmicheal, Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Robert Taylor, and Margaret Sullavan. Construction of the pilot training facility began on 2 January 1941, and was completed in three months. The site, 25 miles from central Phoenix, was laid out by artist Millard Sheets to resemble (from the air) an etching of a mythical Anasazi Thunderbird. The control tower formed the head of the bird, the administration buildings and barracks its body, the hangars its wings, and the gardens its feathered tail. A Hollywood movie, Thunder Birds (directed by William Wellman), was filmed on location at the field in the spring of 1942. Aerial shots clearly show the original Thunderbird design. In November 1943, the facilities peak was reached; 615 cadets flew an average of two hours a day, making 1,845 separate takeoffs and landings. In a period of ten weeks, students received a total of 65 hours of flight training and 109 hours of ground school. In spite of the intensified training, the field gained a widespread reputation for thoroughness of instruction and high caliber graduates. Every graduating cadet received the coveted Thunderbird Field patch depicting the Anasazi Thunderbird. Head over to the Eastman Civilian Design Classics section to check out our exacting replica of the 40's period Thunderbird Field A-1 flight instructor jacket complete with a beautiful reproduction patch made on original 1920s looms with authentic rayon yarns.
image Marilyn_Monroe,_Korea,_1954 Marilyn-in-Korea-marilyn-monroe-16211643-500-641 marilyn-monroe-in-korea Marilyn066 photo-10 4 4646-Annex+-+Monroe,+Marilyn_082 482193 7625949210_2c89414332_z In February 1954, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were just married and on a Honeymoon trip to Japan. The bride decided to take a detour to Korea to entertain the troops, performing ten shows in four days, in front of audiences that totaled more than 100,000 soldiers and Marines while making the B-15 Flight Jacket sexy in the process. Later Monroe recalled that the trip "was the best thing that ever happened to me. I never felt like a star before in my heart. It was so wonderful to look down and see a fellow smiling at me."  
elc1 elc11 elc2 elc7 elc6 elc4 elc3 elc5 elc10 elc8 elc9 Back on a cold Sunday morning in 2012 we ventured into the wilds of Sussex to shoot the ELC / Buzz Rickson's AW12 Lookbook with renown photographer John Isaac. Above is a selection of shots from that day featuring a variety of ELC and Buzz gear. The lookbook itself gained a lot of blog and media attention both here in Europe and the US and also in Japan and we had a lot of fun in the process so it was well worth the frost bitten hands and chapped lips!

Welcome to the new Eastman Leather Clothing Blog. We'll be posting various articles of interest covering a wide range of topics which inform and reference the brand, including product development, cultural influences, original vintage garments, etc. Be sure to check in regularly to keep up with the latest scoop!