A Look Back at the Puffer Jacket through the years

1930s outdoor enthusiast and Sporting Goods store owner, Eddie Bauer invented the Puffer jacket.  After Eddie Bauer nearly died of exposure when his wool sweater froze from rain on a fishing trip, Bauer came up with a waist-length quilted puffer coat with a knitted collar he called the Skyliner.  Later it was adopted for use by the Military.

1970s, designer, Norma Kamali invents sleeping bag coat. Kamali found herself on a post-divorce camping trip with a friend in the middle of August in Upstate New York. The weather was already turning nippy, so when Kamali got out of her tent in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, she wrapped her sleeping bag around her shoulders before sprinting for the trees. The pee run turned out to be a source of inspiration. “As I’m walking into the woods I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God this is such a great coat.’ So I went back home, I took my sleeping bag, and I cut a coat out of it and I didn’t waste one part of the sleeping bag,” Kamali told the Museum at FIT. That pattern was the one that she has used ever since for her Sleeping Bag Coat, which launched in 1973 and still sells today.

Puffer jackets then progressed to become a popular outerwear choice in the 90’s especially within the Hip Hop Community. While they fell out of fashion in the early 2000’s, it seems, like many 90’s trends, they have made a comeback today.


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