For Michael Michalsky, becoming creative director of Jet Set was like coming full circle. As a teenager growing up near the German city of Hamburg, he would take the train into town on Saturdays to window shop at the luxury sportswear brand’s store.
Eventually, he managed to buy one of its jackets on sale. That orange bomber jacket from 1984 has been reissued as part of Michalsky’s first collection for the St. Moritz-based label, which celebrates its 50th anniversary with a series of drops celebrating archival designs from its Eighties heyday.
“Jet Set during that time was in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy the non plus ultra luxury sportswear brand, basically. If I look back on it now, they created a segment that now every luxury brand really wants to get into,” he said.
“Ever since then I had a love affair with the brand, because I have always been very fascinated and very smitten by sportswear,” he added.
Jet Set couldn’t have dreamed of a better advocate for its revival. With a passionate eye for detail, Michalsky pointed out the technical details — many borrowed from U.S. military garb — on ripstop bomber jackets, heavyweight cotton T-shirts and performance ski suits.
Each drop will be anchored around a “hero” piece of outerwear from the archives. The Alpine Patchwork range features a down jacket made from panels of pastel hand-dyed nylon, while the St. Moritz camouflage line revives an exclusive vintage pattern.
Though the brand defines itself as genderless, its limited-edition 50th anniversary collection skews more female, with pieces that hark back to the MTV era: pastel ski jackets lined with fake leopard fur, and an Eighties graphic of a topless woman who appears as a mosaic pattern on jogging pants.
It’s a clever approach that should ensure the brand, controlled by the Swiss Gaydoul Group, appeals to streetwear aficionados and retro-obsessed Millennials alike.