There aren’t many clothing manufacturers that have contributed as much to their home nation as the American workwear stalwart Dickies, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. Founded in Texas by cousins EE “Colonel” Dickie and CN Williamson, the brand was born from humble roots, with the sole “purpose of celebrating and enabling the makers of the world to be better at what they care so deeply about,” says Sarah Crockett, Dickies’ global CMO.
Fast-forward 100 years and Dickies’ mission statement has remained true. Along the way, the brand has consistently innovated and diversified its collection. In the process, it has transcended its workwear roots to become a cult favorite of menswear enthusiasts from Junya Watanabe to A$AP Rocky.
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Up until World War II, Dickies primarily serviced blue-collar laborers with garments that could withstand the toils of tough work. The first product that the cousins engineered was the bib overall, constructed from hard-wearing denim and replete with strengthened pockets to safely store away vital tools of the trade. Like many garment manufacturers, World War II forced Dickies hand in supporting the war effort, and the brand was tapped by the American government to make 9 million heavy-duty twill uniforms for the US Armed Forces.
Its most iconic creation of this era, though, is undoubtedly what’s colloquially known as the Eisenhower jacket, named after general (and soon to be president) Dwight D. Eisenhower. Still in production today (albeit a much more contemporary, streamlined version), it’s a cropped utility jacket featuring the