Leather Biker Jackets Boast Almost 100 Years of Practical Styling
Leather biker jackets are a firm favourite with men and women right now. But they’re not new. In fact the good old leather biker jacket has been around for almost a century.
Specifically designed biker jackets first appeared in the USA after the first world war, when motorbikes were first starting to make a big impression on consumers. Early motorcyclists soon realised that cotton, wool and the other fabrics of the day didn't provide much protection against the injuries that can happen when you fall off your bike. But thick cow leather doesn't break or tear even when you skid across the road in it. It protects you from cuts, grazes and bruising, acting very much as a second skin.
Fashion house Schott, established way back in 1913, were an early mens leather biker jackets manufacturer. Their first was released in 1928 to great acclaim by the motorbiking community. In those days a pursuit for the rich, Schott’s biking leathers were a prestige item selling for five dollars fifty at New York’s first Harley Davidson outlet. By the 1940s motorbikes were a common sight, more affordable, and Harley decided to buy out men’s and women's leather biker jackets manufacturers Cycle Champ and Cycle Queen to meet a fast-increasing customer demand.
At first a purely practical item, the Harley brand brought leather biker jackets into the limelight. An increasing number of film stars adopted them, which made them a fashion item for thousands of ordinary men and women whether or not they rode a bike. The biker jacket had arrived! 1950s rebellious teenage culture epitomised the garment in 1953 when Brando wore a classic biker bomber jacket in The Wild One. Some US schools banned the leather jacket for fear it encouraged antisocial behaviour… a bit like a latter-day hoodie. And James Dean’s 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause sealed the biker jacket’s fate as a high style item forever.
If you’re older, you’ll probably still think of leather biker jackets as highly studded garments will long leather tassels and endless zips, chiselled from heavy, stiff leather. But today’s classic leather biker jackets for women and men is cleaner cut, streamlined and crafted in the finest and softest quality nappa leather. Then there’s the designer leather biker jacket, in a class of its own with exciting design themes and styles ranging from military to pilot to haute couture and exotic, unusual and eccentric ‘off the wall’ versions. Whatever your choice, you’re onto a style winner that looks like it has another 100 years ahead of it.