How did a deeply unpopular war spawn one of the most popular fashion trends of the 20th century?

As Vietnam veterans landed back on American shores following war, they found themselves reviled as their look became a symbol of countercultural cool. Combat boots, zippos, aviators, and M-65 jackets became fashion staples from the ’70s onward. In particular, the M-65 field jacket and its trademark “Olive Green 107” shade became a symbol for those disenchanted with the project of American empire. Travis Bickle, Robert De Niro’s character in Taxi Driver—who himself became a counterculture icon when the film was released in 1976—did more work than anyone (real or fictional) to turn the jacket into a rebuke of the American status quo.

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