Camo, its history & Forty Clothing

Did you know, the very first camouflage was used by hunters to disguise themselves from their prey and could take the form of foliage or mud smeared over their bodies, to hide their scent as well as their appearance? Well, now you know. However, we must admit, that’s not the reason we use camo in our product design here at Forty.

Camo is very much back on-trend this Autumn/Winter season, however Disruptive Pattern Material (DPM) has been an inspiration here at Forty Clothing since the very beginning and for us, and is not just an in-season style. From our monster logo to our newly launched Edmund winter jacket, camo boldly plays its part in the Forty Family.

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Why do we love Camo fashion at Forty?

We love camo as the utilitarian aspect of military garments has always intrigued us. The fact you can incorporate camo to any object makes it so unique. It inspires us in so many ways, and as a streetwear brand, we can really push the boundaries with our garments.

The History of Camouflage

There are few inventions as revolutionary to military uniforms as camouflage—which became a staple during the WWI era. Militaries first used camouflage patterning to hide, not people, but locations and equipment. When machine guns, trench warfare, and aerial photography emerged, France, as well as England, Germany, and the United States, abandoned the traditional, brighter uniform colors, and opted for a muted olive drab color. They began developing low-visibility uniforms and even formed a camouflage unit, called camofleurs, made up of people who were artists and designers in their regular lives.

In 1940, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started experimenting with camouflage uniforms and by 1943, U.S. Marines started wearing reversible beach coveralls with a “frog” pattern of green and brown. But by the end of WWII, camo lost favor once more. Select units of the Army continued to experiment with and wear camouflage throughout the 20th century, but the first official camouflage uniform didn’t emerge until the mid-’80s.

From the field to Forty Fashion

From the early 1940’s Vogue magazine picked up on the military uniforms and incorporated it into the fashion world. Vogue launched DPM in the magazine and educated their readers and it’s main function.

It wasn’t until around 1970 when the next feature came to light, a trend collage on camo with images in tactical gear. The camo craze then really burst into the fashion scene in the states in the 80’s, when hunters and civilians began wearing types of green, tan, and brown apparel.

A fun fact is that the US army campaigns in Lebanon & Grenada are credited for the emerging trend, and many people believe the camo fashion boomed due to people’s pride in their country.

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