Custom motorcycle leather jacket

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

 

Introduction

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

 

The custom motorcycle leather jacket could be defined as the leather motorcycle jacket that incorporates the Custom aesthetic, a very defined aesthetic, with a lot of personality within the motorcycle world. A movement that originates many years ago in the USA and that, thanks to the history of Harley Davidson, today continues to have its followers all over the world.

The leather jacket, is one of the most iconic garments in the world of fashion that was born in the early twentieth century, a garment that accompanied the most important social movements in the history of the century, a symbol for those who broke with the stereotypes of the time.

Chaqueta de cuero moto Custom

Punks of the 70s | Custom motorcycle leather jacket

It was born as an element of protection and quickly became an iconographic object, from post-war rebellious rockers, to the libertarian pacifists of the hippie movement of the 60s and 70s, also to punkies of the late 70s, to the pop artists of the 80, for the followers of the grunge movement of the 90s and also as an object of worship of the fanatics of the Indie style.

Without forgetting that the cinema collaborated with all this popularity and iconography. The most emblematic characters in the history of celluloid used them. Movie stars, politicians, athletes, famous people all over the world use it and collaborate with its popularity.

The leather jacket, is one of the most iconic garments in the world of fashion that was born in the early twentieth century, a garment that accompanied the most important social movements in the history of the century, a symbol for those who broke with the stereotypes of the time.

 

The Custom style. Custom motorcycle leather jacket

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

 

The birth of the Custom movement was in the USA at the end of the 50s. The American market of the motorcycle was in a very special moment, the english brands begin to invade everything, young people and rockers prefer them, they are lighter, agile and fast. And in addition, they are real bikes of rebels.

Harley Davidson and Indian, true owners of the American market of the motorcycle until that moment, begin to be seen as motorcycles of elderly people, bourgeois and police. They are also heavier motorcycles and are going out of style.

Even, the fashion of the English motorcycles arrives to Hollywood, where Marlon Brando, the hero of the film “The Wild one”, rides a Triumph Thunderbird, and the bad one, interpreted by Lee Marvin, does it in an old and dirty modified Harley. Steve McQueen and James Dean are also fans of the Triumph.

Chaqueta de cuero moto Custom

Peter Fonda in “Easy rider” | Custom motorcycle leather jacket

The few remainings fans of the American bikes are quite radical and greatly modify their bikes, remove leaks, cut mudguards, modify the engines, lower the chassis and lengthen the handlebars. This is the beginning of custom style choppers.

In the 60s, while in Britain, the Triumph, Norton and BSA are thinned and the Café Racers style is born, in the USA, together with the hippie movement, the custom style begins to develop strongly, the bikes are taking a very particular aesthetic, long forks, advanced footrests, low saddles and giant handlebars.

In the 70s, its definitive consolidation began and thousands of workshops throughout the United States were dedicated to manufacturing authentic Custom-style motorcycles, modifying old Harley Davidsons. With the film Easy rider the phenomenon is definitely popularized and the Captain America that Peter Fonda rides becomes an object of inspiration for movement lovers.

The few remainings fans of the American bikes are quite radical and greatly modify their bikes, remove leaks, cut mudguards, modify the engines, lower the chassis and lengthen the handlebars. This is the beginning of custom style choppers.

 

A little history of the leather jacket

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

 

The history of motorcycle leather jacket starts at the beginning of the 20th century and its development is totally connected with the beginnings of the aviation industry and motorcycles. It is born as an element of protection against cold wind and possible falls. In the mid-twentieth century the performance of airplanes and motorcycles increased, leather jackets also evolve in designs and materials.

custom motorcycle leather jacket

40s aviator jacket | Custom motorcycle leather jacket

Around 1920, in the US, companies such as Schott Brothers, Leathertogs and Harley Davidson begin to manufacture its own collection of biker jackets, in Britain stores such as Harrods and Dunhill have its own collection of leather coats for aviation enthusiasts and lovers of motorcycles, too, Lewis tailoring joins the club of leather jackets. The same happens in other countries in Europe.

The final push to the technological development of leather jackets comes with the Second World War, the American government needs to protect its pilots from the cold and begins to produce aviator jackets, the most popular models are the A2, B3 and G1. In particular the A2, was the most popular of them all and were manufactured over 200,000 units.

It was produced by more than 10 commercial leather companies, including United Sheeplined Clothing, Spiewak & Sons, Aero leather clothing Co, Rough Wear Clothing, Bronco Mfg Corp, Cable Raincoat and many more.

Between 40s and 50s is the real golden age for motorcycle leather jackets, large-scale production begins and new designs quickly become popular, such as the Cycle Champ by Harley Davidson, the J2 of the Buco company and the Columbia by Langlitz Leahters. Companies like Brooks, Beck, Trojan Leathers sportswear and Sears, Roebuck & Co make their contribution to the development of the industry with designs that their customers like and with an excellent quality of confection.

custom motorcycle leather jacket

Marlon Brando in “The wild one” | Custom motorcycle leather jacket

In the year 1953, the golden prize for the industry finally arrived. The movie “The Wild One” is released and it becomes a turning point for the culture of the motorcycle and motorcycle leather jacket. The leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, Johnny (played by Marlo Brando) wears the new “W style“, specifically the Perfect model “One star” from the company Schott Brothers, becoming the most popular model of the leather jackets of the moment and in the most emblematic of all the history of cinema.

In the year 1953, the golden prize for the industry finally arrived. The movie “The Wild One” is released and it becomes a turning point for the culture of the motorcycle and motorcycle leather jacket. The leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, Johnny (played by Marlo Brando) wears the new “W style”, specifically the Perfect model “One star” from the company Schott Brothers, becoming the most popular model of the leather jackets of the moment and in the most emblematic of all the history of cinema.

 

The Custom motorcycle leather jacket

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

 

In the 60s and 70s is when the custom type bike is popular throughout the US. Its beginnings, at the end of the 50s had been discreet, in the following decades there is a real explosion of this type of motorcycle. It works as a revulsive the changes experienced by society, young people begin a new way of living, creating a subculture that manifests itself in a countercultural, libertarian and pacifist movement. The Hippie movement was born, and its vehicle was the motorcycle.

All these changes affected fashion and leather jackets were not going to be out of this new trend.

Custom motorcycle leather jacket

60s biker band | Custom motorcycle leather jacket

Obviously with the feeling of freedom of this new movement, there was no uniformity when dressing to ride a motorcycle, but, we could give a series of guidelines that define the new leather jacket of the time.

First, the use of accessories with the use of jackets, for example jean vests on the classic black leather jackets, also the use of fringes to adorn the garments, this feature was copied from the jackets of the far west American at the time of colonization. It was also quite common, the use of leather vests on shirts or other garment.

One of the companies that lead this fashion is Schott Bros., other important companies of the time with these models were Taubers from California, Lewis, in Great Britain, with the model “Lightning”, companies such as Oakleaf and Langlitz Leathers also made this type of jackets with success. And in the mid 70’s, Mascot of Simpkins Ltd. with its model “Leisure wear.

Secondly, we must emphasize the incorporation of bright and striking colors to the making of jackets, the main feature of the racing motorbike equipment of the time, which together with the explosion of color that characterizes the fashion of those years It also defines the aesthetics of motorcycle leather jackets of the 60s and 70s.

Bates Leathers in California is one of the forerunners of this type of garments, a company that transforms into one of the most important in the sector, because Los Angeles became the city of motorcycle racing in the 60’s. Other companies such as ABC Custom Leathers, Custom Made, Superior, Levi’s, Dan-Jac, Langlitz Leathers, Vanson Leathers, in the 60s there were more than 100 companies of leather jackets only in the USA, not to mention many others that made the same and with a lot of quality in other parts of the world.

The use of decorative patches, inherited from the sponsorships of the racing jackets is also one of the distinctive features of custom motorcycle leather jackets.

Already in the 90s, the company Bill Wall Leather, in the USA, clearly defines the current custom motorcycle jacket, adding silver accessories (zippers, buttons and ornaments) to the garments and making embossed engravings on vests and jackets . All a work of art that takes to a higher level the design of this type of garments.

In the 60s and 70s is when the custom type bike is popular throughout the US. Its beginnings, at the end of the 50s had been discreet, in the following decades there is a real explosion of this type of motorcycle. It works as a revulsive the changes experienced by society, young people begin a new way of living, creating a subculture that manifests itself in a countercultural, libertarian and pacifist movement. The Hippie movement was born, and its vehicle was the motorcycle..

 

 

Source: “Motorcycle jackets” of Rin Tanaka

Klauer & Iannuzzi | 2019 | Custom motorcycle leather jacket