Friday , 15 December 2017

The History of Alpha Industries

Alpha Industries is an American clothing brand that was founded in Knoxville in 1959. The company specialises in Military style outerwear, bringing a unique take on fashion through bomber jackets, parkas, flight jackets and even leather jackets. Initially the company was set up using military contractors and it is from here that they have grown a firm foundation. Alpha Industries has grown and adapted over the years so that it has become the respected clothing company that it is today.

In the late forties Robert Lane and his wife Helen adapted the factory they had been using for a former business venture and took on contracts from the United States Department of Defence that enabled them to create Military wear for men in the field. By the early fifties the company had been inexplicably shut down- but a few years later Robert Lane went back to his accountant Samuel Gelber and thereafter created his second company in Knoxville- Dobbs Industries. In 1959 Robert Lane was accused of bribery in order to obtain his Government contracts. Samuel Gelber knew that without Lane he stood to lose a lot of capital, he approached Herman Wynn (A.K.A Breezy) and incorporated a new company before the year was even out! That company was Alpha Industries, and it has not stopped growing and changing since.

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Alpha Industries started life as a strictly Military clothing producer, particularly men’s jackets, operating from a rented cellar in an old factory with only a handful of employees and rented equipment. During the first few years the company experienced a time of peace- making the former Department of Defence contracts slow to trickle in. During this time the ‘Wynn Contract’ arose; a federation of businesses that all had to share the work of Military contracts. These companies banded together, loaning each other sewing machines, labour and experience to get through these hard times. Alpha Industries did not really take off until the start of the Vietnam War, when military clothing became suddenly of the very highest demand.

After the war was over and the army was fully and completely kitted out,  Alpha Industries clothing was now known to a minority of the population that had worn it when they served in the army. They had established a reputation for hard wearing, tough clothing that wouldn’t rip or tear easily, nor fade to threadbare over months of constant use. The minority of veterans spread word, and during the eighties Alpha Industries had to turn their attention to making apparel for the public simply to keep up with demand!

Afterwards Alpha Industries boomed. During the sixties they supplied the war, afterwards the Government wanted all weather and all terrain gear for their men. The company expanded exponentially and began to grow into what it is today; a well respected purveyor of military style civilian wear, children’s clothing and other apparel. Although still based in Knoxville Alpha Industries now sells on an international level, becoming renowned and loved the world over.