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Lion Group, Inc. (American, founded 1898)

Honeywell (American, founded 1885)

The Washington Group (American)

Bunker gear, 2022

Jacket and trousers of black woven Kevlar and Nomex appliquéd with yellow Viz-a-V high-visibility striping and logo; helmet of black plastic with metal hardware, neon yellow high-visibility adhesive stickers, and leather badge; hood of tan PBI knit with black serged stitching; gloves of black leather outer with Lite N Dri padding and Kovenex thermal liner; boots of black leather, rubber and steel.

Courtesy New York City Fire Museum  




Firefighters have left an indelible impression on the cultural memory of America. An example of their bunker gear is displayed here and features an oversized jacket and pair of trousers with reflective striping and utility pockets, as well as thick leather steel–toed boots and domed helmet. The protective gear with layers of specially formulated materials allows these professionals to respond to life threatening disasters. News reports of their acts of heroism paired with media representations like Chicago Fire, Ladder 49, and 9-1-1, have imbued their iconic uniforms with connotations of heroes prepared for any disaster. Young children clamber to climb up onto their iconic red trucks and dream of wearing the uniform, hoping that by donning costume facsimiles, they too will take on the characteristics of altruism, heroism, and preparedness.

Stephanie J. Kim (Korean, born America, 1991)

Ensemble, 2022

Jumpsuit of green translucent plastic with plastic piping, metal hardware, cotton twill tape, and elastic cord; bodysuit of gray polyester plain weave with metallic copper, and metallic nickel.

Courtesy Stephanie J. Kim, Undereyedot




Designer Stephanie J. Kim found inspiration for her “Sapiomatica” collection from the jumpsuits and oversized utility wear of firefighters and pilots. She translated these uniforms that conjure ideas of altruistic heroism into a collection that evokes the protection and preparedness necessary for a nomadic post–apocalyptic future. The rippling exterior jumpsuit emulates the fullness of the firefighters jackets and pants, with room to hold all that is necessary for a life on the run. The interior bodysuit, made from military–grade RF radiation shielding fabric, exposes the otherwise unseen protection necessary for a life fraught with impending disaster. 

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