A Short History of Black Leathers

My Dad and my brother both own motorcycles and I've worn my black leather jacket so many times there are holes in it. That qualifies me as a legit black-leather-motorcycle-jacket-scholar right?

In 1928 Irving Schott designed the first motorcycle jacket and he named it Perfecto after his favorite kind of cigar. He sold it at Harley Davidson stores for $5.50 and updates of the design are still in production today. I guess you can't make perfect, better.

In the 50s and 60s stars like Marlon Brando, James Dean and Steve McQueen started wearing the Pefecto in movies and the trend went wild. High Schools started banning the jackets saying they represented a rebellious counter culture. That culture, if just on the fringe, stuck around. In the early 1970s The Ramones were notorious for walking on stage all in ripped jeans and Perfectos- trying to prove they were anything but hippies. Other classic rockstars like Springsteen, Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger brought the jackets back around and they've been a fashion and music staple since.

My cropped, faux leather number has made me proud but this season I'm on the look out for a more classic version. Do you wear one?

More photos here.


  1. Thank you for this fabulous history! I never really thought about where the leather jacket came from!

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