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SAN FRANCISCO FLIGHT JACKETS ARE THE OFFICIAL PRESIDENTIAL GIFT TO INAUGURAL PERFORMING ARTISTS

 SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- What started out as a spur of the moment, from-the-heart gift to President-Elect Bill Clinton from an admiring San Francisco sportswear company, has become the official, commemorative jacket for the performing artists at the Inaugural celebration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, Golden Bear Sportswear said today.
 The jacket, a fashionable leather beauty styled along the lines of those that United States fighter pilots wore in World War II, was first presented to President Clinton right after the election by Golden Bear Sportswear, a third-generation family firm located in San Francisco. As it happened, President Clinton loved the jacket and wore it on several occasions, which were well-documented in the press. The jacket has since become known as the "Bill Bomber." Versions of these jackets, in fact were manufactured by Golden Bear Sportwear in the 1940s as flight jackets for the crews of the Flying Tigers, P-38s and Flying Fortresses.
 After seeing the jacket on Clinton, the Inaugural Committee then decided it would make an excellent commemorative gift for the small army of famous entertainers performing at the Inaugural Ball, including stars like Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac and the group of performers from the Disney organization who will be entertaining the young people. So, 280 "Bill's Bombers" flight jackets were flown in from San Francisco to Washington to be part of the celebration.
 The Golden Bear brown leather jacket outside gives little indication of its historic importance, but the inside of the lining is embroidered with a special leather patch showing the Inaugural Seal logo and the words "Performing Artist -- the 52nd Presidential Inaugural." The patch includes 50 stars in gold, the Capitol building in silver and red lettering.
 Schirley Zisman, Golden Bear's merchandising director, said that the whole project was really inspired by her young son who also was a Clinton supporter. "He was so excited by the election, I became more excited, too. The idea of sending the president-elect one of our jackets just seemed right, as we are a company that makes everything here in the United States, right in the City of San Francisco. In fact, as soon as the jacket arrived in Little Rock, I received a call from the Clinton office to tell me how much he liked it. I guess he really like it; he was seen wearing it in many major magazines and newspapers."
 Zisman feels this all-American gift seems very appropriate since Golden Bear jackets have been worn by rock stars, war heros, artists, writers, fashionable men and women and now, at the top of the list, a president of the United States. Similar jackets, in lambskin, also were given to the new First Lady, Hillary Clinton, and to Chelsea.
 The company when not supplying presidential galas, also supplies top stores and catalogue companies throughout the United States and overseas in Tokyo, Paris, Rome, London and Amsterdam. Golden Bear Sportswear began in 1922; it is located at 200 Potrero Avenue in San Francisco. In two weeks, Golden Bear Sportswear will be a participant in a "made in America" promotion in Japan, sponsored by the United States Chamber of Commerce. The company's jackets are very popular in Tokyo.
 -0- 1/18/93
 /CONTACT: Schirley Zisman of Golden Bear Sportswear, 415-863-6171, or Ed Schwartz of Edwin Schwartz Public Relations, 415-346-2929, for Golden Bear Sportswear/


CO: Golden Bear Sportswear ST: California IN: ENT TEX SU: PDT CPN

TM-GT -- SF005 -- 5912 01/18/93 13:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 18, 1993
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