loopback jacket | the journey

may 11th, 2022

loopback jacket | the journey 

london, united kingdom











/ noun

1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.
   "Montreal's Italian community" 

 2. the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.


A huge focus for us as a brand is to build a community. To do this, we believe that there needs to be a transparent relationship with one another built upon respect. Take your neighbours for example, you're not best friends, however you strive to be open and honest with one another.

That being said, we wanted to take you through the journey that our loopback jacket has been on, all the way from initial development to where we are now. To show how long these things take, the ups and downs, and that we'll never put out a product we aren't 100% happy with - even if it is delayed by 6 months.


Believe it or not, the piece originally started out as a "Varsity" style jacket, with an a:b patch on the front. We were really feeling the varsity style and thought this could be the perfect way to introduce some more 'a:b' branding - something that we've been wanting to try for a while. We also really wanted to carry through the same branding from the box tees given their huge success. Particularly the "contemporary minimalism" handwriting and thought that would look really cool on a jacket. That, combined with an a:b patch on the front would create a well-rounded piece which had a nod to that American style but still remained minimal. 

In addition, we wanted the jacket itself to be unique and for it to stand out when worn in public. To do this, we chose to sample the jacket with the reverse side of the fabric on the outside. We'd seen this been done once or twice before and were pretty set on the idea, however, we didn't really know the complications that came with it. 



Unfortunately, we don't have any images to hand of the patch - however, it was far from the level of quality and detail we needed. It became transparent that without sourcing the embroidery out to a third-party, we weren't going to be able to achieve the image we had in our head. 

So we went back to the drawing board on the branding and opted for the italic, handwriting text. 



We love this style text and really wanted it to work, however, despite this there was just something about it which didn't work.  After multiple samples and strike offs, it too was evident the embroidery wasn't working either - it wasn't clear enough to show the detail in the text and didn't match the quality we needed to launch the garment. 


After speaking with the factory, it became apparent that because we were using the "wrong" side of the fabric, the level of execution we wanted wouldn't be possible. This, combined with the fact that the fabric was so heavy, the embroidery machine just couldn't get through. 

This was the same with the western stitching detail you can see down the center of the garment, the execution just wasn't there because the machine couldn't get through like it normally would. 

Once again, back to the drawing board - this time switching the fabric back to the "correct" side. 



When changing the fabric, we also decided to remove the branding. 

We knew this would change the jacket completely but we didn't want to continue sampling knowing there was a risk the embroidery would once again not turn out right.

With the branding gone, the black detailing also didn't make sense.







So once again, we trialled a new design - putting our existing utility pockets onto the jacket. 


This design previously worked, especially on our utility vest and concrete jacket so we assumed it would also work here.
However, due to the new shape of the jacket and the lack of pockets on the chest, these new additions seemed a little... lost. 



So, we went back to the original side pockets, this time the correct way round. 

Switching out the heavy black zip for a much more sleek, silver version with the larger two-way ring pull.

There was just one last thing which wasn't sitting correctly - the western stitching. 








The jacket had changed so much from its original sample, it became a completely different piece entirely.  Moving from a casual, varsity style to a much more elevated fit, the western detailing didn't make sense.  

This was the last piece of the puzzle, you can see the difference it made.




After all the changes, it's really interesting to see how far this jacket has come from start to finish.

This final garment is the perfect summer jacket for us and really resonates everything we stand for here at about:blank - minimal pieces designed to last. 

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, well this jacket took 6 months, so we hope you enjoy it.