What would be on the top of your wish list if you didn't have a stitch of clothing besides the rags on your back? That's the situation I faced when my house burned to the ground in the Malibu fire. The flames didn’t just impact my house but also my lifestyle. Overnight, this AirBnB SuperHost rose like a Phoenix as a Chic Nomad, grounded in the travel/interior design books I wrote and photographed, Safari Chic and Swahili Chic. Already introduced as your “Resident Nomad” on HipSilver, I floated the idea of a curated trip for HipSilvers. To Where? With my coffee table books, I'd taken readers on an armchair safari. Now was the time to take them to East Africa's "Secret Migration." I turned to my favorite Safari Sage, Don Young of Newland Tarlton Safaris, to answer my question. "On safari, I'm never without my CockpitUSA pilot jacket" Don told me. "It's like a second skin; I even sleep in it at fly-camps in the bush." Visions of Denis Fitch-Hatton and Beryl Markham stepping out of their biplanes in leather pilot gear immediately came to mind, and I imagined the look for this reborn "Nomad sans Residence." When I met CockpitUSA CEO, Jacky Clyman, I knew I wanted her brand covering my back, a brand captained by a tenacious polyglot world-traveler with a passion for the history imbued in fabric and style. An army-brat, Jacky has lived in 4 countries, learned 5 languages and celebrates the lore of fashion history. Married into a family of pilots three generations deep, Jacky signed on as co-captain with her pilot-husband, Jeff Clyman, because she revered the legacy of the jackets they re-created. "Pilots flew in cold, often wet, and always tight quarters," Jacky explained. "They were outfitted in garments made from stiff leather oiled to be waterproof with no pockets. To recreate the pilot jackers, we had to engineer a leather that was pliable, rain-resistant, with an aged patina and modern adaptions. "Soft and cozy on the inside, rugged and handsome on the outside, my CockpitUSA pilot jacket is my go-to jacket not just for safari but for my new journey from ashes to adventure as HipSilver's Travel/Lifestyle Curator and Transformation Travel Guide to bucket-list destinations.
Cockpit U.S.A. dedicates itself to preserving the heritage of traditional, American fashion. To do so, the company recreates the adventurous, courageous, pilot jackets worn in the U.S. air-force. The jackets encompass style, comfort, and liberated thinking, the quintessential qualities to express the American Spirit.
Jeff Clyman, CEO of Cockpit U.S.A., flew World War II planes for airshows in the early 1970s. When the crowds complimented his father’s vintage jacket, Mr. Clyman saw an opportunity and seized it. In 1975, he formed AVIREX Ltd. and became the forerunner in original, aviator jackets. He even managed to rediscover lost processes used for certain jackets such as the B3 bomber jacket. In 1978, Cockpit U.S.A. became an official government provider and has continued making top-notch jackets for figures such as Sylvester Stallone, President Bush, President Obama, and even Beyonce.