There's not much that says Americana more so than an old-school, made in America, leather motorcycle jacket. From the rough and tough early bikers like Marlon Brando and James Dean to the leather-clad rockers like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols - all of them rarely left home without their leather jackets. Arguably one of the most iconic of such jackets was the Schott Perfecto Asymmetrical Motorcycle Jacket (above). Over time, the leather jacket became synonymous with rebellion, freedom and to a large extent trouble-making. While you don't have to be in the BRMC or a punk-rocker these days to wear one, throwing on a worn in moto jacket can evoke a similar emotion.
A little history on Schott NYC -
Founded in 1913 in Manhattan's Lower East Side, brothers Irving and Jack Schott got their start making raincoats and it wasn't too long before they set their sights on the motorcycle jackets. In 1928, Irving Schott designed and produced the first leather motorcycle jacket. Retailing for $5.50 at a Long Island Harley Davidson distributor, the Perfecto was durable, rugged, and immediately embraced.
At the start of WWII, Schott was commissioned by the US Air Force and produced a "bomber jacket" that would protect our pilots in air and they kept our servicemen warm on deck with their classic melton wool naval pea coat. Both rugged and warm, these leather and wool jackets would be produced by Schott for the US Military for the next 60 years.
With WWII over, this country was witnessing the rise of a new rebellion one that would be fought with fast cars and Rock and Roll. In 1954, the now cult classic "The Wild Ones" featured the hot young actor, Marlon Brando, perched on his motorcycle wearing his Schott Perfecto®. The subsequent spike in popularity of the Perfecto® surprisingly resulted in decreased sales. The jackets were banned by school systems around the country because they symbolized a burgeoning teen demographic, the hoodlum. Just one year later, the Perfecto® was catapulted to the height of its popularity when a love for speed ended the life of the quintessential hoodlum. It is said that James Dean could hardly ever be seen without his Perfecto®.
These days, Schott still has their line of classic motorcycle and bomber jackets or a nice wool pea coat like they did back in the day and they also have an increasing line of new products as well. Make sure to check out their site for the full range and grab a new coat before the holiday season.
G-1 Leather Flight Jacket G1S
Here's a few of our personal favorites:
Vintaged Steerhide Leather Cafe Racer Motorcycle Jacket
Waxed Security Jacket 91070
Wool Car Coat DU738
Do you have a Schott jacket in your closet? If so, let us know the story behind your classic.
Labels: Americana, cafe racer, Gear, Leather, Rocker, Schott, Vintage