We can thank our French comrades for a lot of fashion staples, including camo. The pattern is believed to have been invented in 1915 by French painter Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scévola who was part of the Camoufleurs, the world’s first unit dedicated to creating military camouflage. The British and American armies were quick to emulate the idea as the nature of warfare changed and low-visibility uniforms became essential for survival.
By WWII, the American army had donned a green and brown frog-like pattern and during the Vietnam War its Navy SEALs, Green Berets and other Special Forces acquired an unofficial 'Tiger Stripe' camo (as seen in Apocalypse Now, above). The military continues to develop its designs in different colours and configurations, each expertly tailored to a specific climate. Popular patterns include Chocolate Chip, US Woodland and Digital Camouflage. These prints have been applied to military styles including the M43, M51 and M65 field jackets and the MA1 bomber, which have all become post-war pop culture staples.