One of the benefits of being a rich and famous celebrity is the ability to relive your glory days whenever you damn well feel like it. Exhibit A: Tom Cruise spearheading a remake — excuse us, sequel — to his iconic 1986 film Top Gun.
The movie, slated for release in 2019, is being produced as before by Jerry Bruckheimer and will bring back all the usual suspects from the original: Cruise reprising his role as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Val Kilmer is on board to revisit his nemesis Lt. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, and Tom Skerritt may even get pulled out of mothballs to play flight instructor CDR Mike “Viper” Metcalf. Sources intimate that Kenny Loggins is lobbying for the chance to revamp the equally legendary song “Danger Zone” for the new film — no word yet on whether that one’s a go.
Before you roll your eyes at aging actors and their vanity projects, take a minute to remember how the first Top Gun made you feel. The supercharged masculinity of those ultra-cocky pilots in their gelled hair, tight pants, and mirrored aviators. The pulse-pounding surge of adrenalin whenever the F-14 Tomcat engines gunned through the Dolby stereo sound. The climactic dogfight scene that swells every vein in your body with pugilistic American spirit.
The Top Gun reprise gives us all a chance to rediscover those feelings … or, at the very least, to rediscover how good we look in a leather bomber jacket.
In celebration of the movie’s revival, Cockpit USA has released a fresh line of Top Gun-adjacent apparel and accessories. Crafted from 100-percent lambskin and offered in a select array of styles and colors, these heirloom-quality bomber jackets are more than just a fashion piece — they’re meant to be passed down from one generation to the next. And yes, the brand has the exact model Cruise wore as Maverick.
Cockpit USA, the US Air Force’s official supplier of A-2 leather pilot jackets, has been crafting historically rooted bomber jackets since 1975. It all started with aviator Jeff Clyman, who routinely turned down offers from strangers to buy his father’s WWII bomber jacket right off his back. With the help of his “aviation brat” wife Jacky, Clyman quickly grew the company from a humble mail-order catalog into the country’s leading manufacturer of period aviator jackets. Crafted from the finest materials from original military designs, the Cockpit USA’s AVIREX-label jackets are the undisputed standard for this iconic American garment.
While our attitudes toward war and patriotism may not be quite what they were in 1986 —and the human fighter pilot is fast being put out of work by drones — there’s no denying that the bomber jacket is, and always will be, an emblem of the effortlessly cool confidence that comes from an independent spirit. Pop the mouton shearling collar, slide on your aviators, and let yourself feel the need for … hell, you know what.