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Made in America Menswear Brand Hickey Freeman Features U.S. Veterans in ‘Heroes & Leaders’ Ad Campaign

Hickey Freeman
Instagram
New York City, NY

Iconic menswear brand Hickey Freeman’s latest ad campaign for its fall collection, titled “Heroes & Leaders,” exclusively features American war heroes and veterans and highlights the stories of their return home from combat.

Freeman, which manufactures all of its men’s suits in the United States, shared the ad campaign to Instagram, which not only depicted American veterans in the brand’s latest designs but also shared each hero’s personal story.

The ad campaign featured the story of American Marine veteran Jake Wood:

Ever since he was a young kid growing up in Iowa, Jake Wood knew he wanted to be in the military. At first, he thought it might be the Army – but as it turns out the Marine Corps was in his bones. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, Jake wasn’t really sure what he was going to do once he was a civilian. He thought maybe he would get an MBA, make something of himself in Silicon Valley.

It wasn’t until 2010 when the Haiti earthquake hit that Jake started to realize that his purpose was bigger than business school. He and U.S. Marine William McNulty both knew they had to help. Five days after the earthquake when everyone else was evacuating, they organized a team to travel down to Haiti and got to work. After three weeks, Wood and McNulty realized that everything they’d been taught in the Marines – the skills, techniques, and technologies – can be applied to humanitarian work. And so Team Rubicon was born.

Team Rubicon is a non-government organization with a two-fold mission statement: aim to deploy any time a community becomes overwhelmed with disaster and bring a sense of purpose back to the lives of military veterans. In 2012, they were instrumental in rebuilding the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy and have since helped communities all over the globe.

Jacob Sipple, a former Marine Combat Engineer Platoon Commander who now works at Hickey Freeman, is featured in the ad campaign wearing a 1970’s-esque camel suitcoat with a brown tie.

Growing up in Rochester, joining the military was never really something that Jacob Sipple thought much about. Sipple was a philosophy major in college and that big question of “what comes next” was always looming ahead. There was something about the Marines that appealed to Sipple – the challenge, the excitement, the intrigue. It wasn’t a difficult decision for him to make. Graduating with a philosophy degree, he knew that his ability to think critically, ask questions, and solve problems would be valued in the military. So, he joined the Marines as a Combat Engineer Officer and set off for his next adventure.

Sipple led teams in Okinawa, Japan after training in Quantico, Virginia and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. When Sipple returned to Rochester after his service he wanted something that excited him and knew he wanted to enter the world of men’s fashion. After dropping off his resume on a whim over a year ago, Sipple was hired as a Special Project Supervisor at Hickey Freeman. He also became a member of the IAVA, an veteran-founded organization whose mission is to connect, unite, and empower post-9/11 veterans. A modern day, digital veterans hall currently serving 400,000 members worldwide, IAVA focuses on finding solutions to the issues facing veterans today.

CEO of Robin Hood, New York’s largest anti-poverty non-profit, Wes Moore previously served in the U.S. Army before returning home to have a successful career in the private sector. Moore is featured in plaid grey and navy checkered suit and a thick navy blue tie.

Concerned for her son’s future, Moore’s mother forced him into military school, an idea that he initially rejected. He rebelled against the disciplined environment and grabbed every chance to escape. His decision to ultimately stay, however, proved to be a life-changing opportunity that fostered his growth into a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and his eventual service as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and as a captain in the United States Army. When he returned home, he was accepted as a White House Fellow to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“The thing that changed me in military school was that I found myself in a place where I was surrounded by people that actually were rooting for me,” Moore shared. “My existence there actually mattered.”

Since then, Moore’s accomplishments have all circled around helping disadvantaged youth and veterans. From founding STAND! to work with youth in the criminal justice system in Baltimore, to establishing BridgeEDU, a platform that supports college completion and job placement, to authoring a best-selling novel, The Other Wes Moore – the 39-year old’s efforts paved the way to his new role as CEO at Robin Hood, New York’s biggest anti-poverty organization.

 

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.

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