This GAME-CHANGING bucket hat got our attention...

And led us to two Comme des Garcons alums' under-the-radar brand

Bucket hats: can you ever have too many? Here at BLACKBIRD SPYPLANE we’ve been known to do profound contemplation among luminous mountain mosses while rocking our cherished KAVU joint above — but we stay on high alert for additional vibey specimens.

Case in point: Australian brand MAN-TLE, who first caught our eye with a piece they call the “CAP 2”

What we have here is a 6-panel BUCKERONI consisting of 3 elements that recur throughout MAN-TLE’s entire line: rich color inspired by road trips the designers take through rural parts of Western Australia, where they’re based; special fabric woven at a longstanding mill in Shizuoka, Japan; and a skinny cinching strap, made out of seat-belt tape...

Did a brand capable of a bucket hat this nice have other joints?? We pushed further into the MAN-TLEVERSE to find out, taking a moment to admire the classic “CAP 1,” pictured here in a summer-2020-ass shade of lime, which they coated with paraffin wax — a treatment MAN-TLE gives to a bunch of their clothes, like the navy asymmetrical-zip shirt below left, to make them sturdy enough to gorp hard in the rugged Australian bush & also so they look cool as they age.

MAN-TLE is still a relatively slept-on operation in the U.S., but was launched 4 years ago by Larz Harry and Aida Kim, a Perth-based husband & wife duo who met in Tokyo while working various jobs for Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons & Dover Street Market Ginza. At MAN-TLE, Harry oversees pattern-making while Kim oversees production. They put out men’s & women’s lines that share an androgynous vibe.

MAN-TLE’s enzyme-wash garments, like the camp shirt above right, have an appealing pop to them … but what sticks with us about MAN-TLE is that if u r the type to occasionally suffer from “GRAPHIC T-SHIRT FATIGUE,” or periodically o.d. on wild prints, like us, it’s cool to find a brand that can get this expressive with solids — in that regard, they’re kind of like the Australian version of paa… ?

Their materials research and sourcing is impressive, whether it’s “HIGH-DENSITY MOSS-STITCH JERSEY KNITTED FOR MAN-TLE IN GIFU,” “TRANSPARENT 100% NYLON MICRO-RIPSTOP” developed by Japanese chemicals megalith Toray, or “HEAT-TREATED COMPRESSED 100% NYLON.”

ALSO we respect that they make extremely minimalist joints but can get a touch out-there with it, too …. case in point, below right: their “JOJO” work sandals, “made in collaboration with Naito, the traditional sandal maker from Gion, Kyoto.” These are composed of sneaker foam, tire rubber, Kanazawa-grown cork (!), “parachute-grade velcro” (!!) and …

a blended silicon used for baby dummys” (??!!)

Dunno if that’s Australian slang for something other than creepy infant mannequins but either way we can guarantee u that if we rocked these flip-flops our whole fit would go “dummy, baby.”

MAN-TLE stocks some stuff at a handful of North American shops, including Neighbour, Departamento and C’H’C’M’, but the real MAN-TLE JAWN DEPOT is their vast e-shop, where among other things you can cop their weirdly dope translucent down scarf & liner, which would make a sick layering piece come winter

Their pricing reflects the brand’s small runs, Japanese fabrication & unique materials — which is to say, this s**t isn’t cheap. But if u toggle on their site from AUD to USD maybe it’ll feel like u entered a discount code… ??

-The MAN-TLE web shop is here
-Their main site is here
-You can find some of their stuff at Neighbor, Reliquary, Departamento, Meridian and C’H’C’M’ too.

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