Homage To An Icon Of “Edgy” Style: The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket

An Edgy Icon Of Style:  The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket
An Edgy Icon Of Style: The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket

The classic black leather jacket. An iconic and timeless style that will forever leave an indelible mark on the world of fashion. Time has certainly provided a saturation of supple leather in a motorcycle style throughout the archives of fashion. Edgy, “amped up” fashion and bold statement of cool chic in a garment, indeed. Perhaps more than any other type of apparel, the leather motorcycle jacket simply resonates with spirited boldness. Although this jacket of recognized style is perhaps not for everyone, it is certainly for the bold and confident. Either way, an appreciation of this garment of sharp and distinctive attitude deserves our attention. Thus, a homage to the icon of “Edgy Style”: The black leather motorcycle jacket…

The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket (Versace)
The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket (Versace)

Leather jackets have been designed for many different purposes throughout history. Specific styles are even associated with not only motorcyclists, but also by the military during WWII by the Russian Bolsheviks, the “Bomber Jacket” of the military aviators in the early 1900’s , the police and a myriad of subcultures said to not seek fashion, but intimidation. However, it was the black leather motorcycle jacket that became the rebellious symbol during the 1950’s. History states this case well. During the later half of the 20th century leather became accepted through its inseparable link to Hollywood, which seemed to further deem this article of ebony black leather iconic status. Hollywood’s skillful ability to successfully create and shape a ‘character’ validated the essence of ‘cool’ that leather equated. Like denim, the leather jacket has continued to maintain an intimate relationship with Hollywood. Of interest, it was in 1928 that Irving Schott designed the first motorcycle jacket, and named it “The Perfecto”, apparently after his favorite cigar. Who knew? Schott is said to have sold the jacket for $5.50 to the Harley Davidson store in New York. Imagine! “Perfecto”, Indeed. The rest, alas, is apparently fashion history.

The "Perfecto", By Schott
The “Perfecto”, By Schott

Regardless of the history and connections of leather style, the bold elegance of the black leather jacket in fashion deems this wardrobe statement a place within our coveted wardrobes. Although often viewed as intimidating, there truly is a classic and timeless yet bold elegance to this jacket of leather. As with any fashionable item, it is how it is worn. A personal preference of assured style, there is indeed a leather garment of stylish design to meet our individual needs and represent our fashionable attitude in style….

Carre Otis “Biker Chic” In Calvin Klein’s Ad Campaign, 1991

Recollections of fashion’s archives brings memories of the classic interpretation of newcomer model Carre Otis embracing the leather attitude in Calvin Klein’s 1991 ad campaign. I remember it well. It was powerful when first viewed. Impactful, indeed. The essence of tough beauty, stylish chic and cool perfected.

"Wild At Heart" by Peter Lindbergh, 1991, Vouge
“Wild At Heart” by Peter Lindbergh, 1991, Vouge

Lets not forget the iconic 1991 Vouge images titled “Wild At Heart” of “Supermodels” clad in leather, photographed by Peter Lindbergh and styled by none other than Grace Coddington (Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Chiffer, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder and Stephanie Seymour). The decade of the “Supermodel” clad in classic fashion in images of motorcycle leather style, indeed. Alas, one my personal favorite images of a memorable decade for fashion of a few of the model icons that became fashion- the “Supermodel”

Striking Comparisons Of Edgy Style: Marlon Brando, In The Film “The Wild Ones” And Model Helena Christensen By Peter Lindbergh, 1991,”Wild At Heart”
Model Icons In The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Model Icons In The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket
The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket: A Fashion Statement
The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket: A Fashion Statement
The Motorcycle Jacket In Black Leather: Edge With Attitude
The Motorcycle Jacket In Black Leather: Edge With Attitude
Classic Elegance In Black Leather:  Linda Evangelista,September 1992
Classic Elegance In Black Leather: Linda Evangelista,September 1992

Let’s not forget the men layered in black leather of masculine edge

Masculine Edge:  Black Leather
Masculine Edge: Black Leather
Iconic "Moto" Style:  Model Jean Shrimpton & actor Steve McQueen, Harper’s Bazaar magazine, February, 1965
Iconic “Moto” Style: Model Jean Shrimpton & actor Steve McQueen, Harper’s Bazaar magazine, February, 1965
Street Style:  The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Street Style: The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket

An iconic wardrobe addition, the leather jacket is a classic for a wardrobe with unexpected or expected edgy style. Surely there is an jacket with a classic appeal that conveys elegance with and “edge” that could meet our attention with admiration. Again, it is how it is worn. Perhaps it is also a matter of finding the perfect leather jacket to carry oneself in layered, stylish fashion. That is paramount. Some things, however, are worth waiting for. May the perfect leather jacket of “Moto Style” find you, whether a traditional “Motorcycle” jacket or a more sophisticated stylized conception of iconic style. “Buttery” leather of individual style may possibly be in your future, if it has not already become a garment of personal style within the ranks of your wardrobe. In life, I suppose we all need to find an “Edge” somewhere. “Edge” and bold attitude, indeed. After all, a bold attitude is ageless.



8 thoughts on “Homage To An Icon Of “Edgy” Style: The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket

  1. You present the greatest formats. I grew up admiring the supermodels of the 90’s the Cindy’s, Linda….etc. I’ve never owned a black leather jacket, but my Zara camel one? Still hot just not as bad ass as black. 😉

    1. Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Jeni!

      I also have an admiration of the “Supermodels” of the 90’s. It was the decade of the fashion model that graced the covers, rather than of the continual image of today’s actresses, that I look back upon with admiration.
      Alas, I have owned a version of the black “moto” jacket of strong style and statement. Worn and beloved, it had left the archives of my wardrobe years ago. That said, my sights are on a new jacket of supple black leather…

      And of your camel colored leather jacket? Also timeless. A classic, indeed.

      1. I agree about our actresses and singers constantly grazing our fashion magazines. I think back and even editorials within the mags of the 90’s proved to be an edgy decade with the models looking more realistic, or healthier? 🙂

        I like the sound of supple black, maybe with a neutral grey or brown undertone? BTW- what inspires your posts?

        1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jeni!
          It is wonderful to know I am not alone in looking back, fondly, to the fashion magazine covers of the 90’s. Fashion was about fashion and the models that became that fashion. How incredible to see the images of those iconic models transformed by photographers to represent the fashion they were wearing. It was about the clothes. And the model that wore them, indeed. I do, however, sense a return to the “model”…

          As far as what inspires my posts? I suppose it is looking at those elements in life that perhaps we do not focus on, or perhaps even take for granted. Beautiful details of life that deserve our attention. Our appreciation. It is, perhaps, the desire to showcase the beauty and importance of those things that surround us and our personal world. Life is certainly beautiful. Compiling images of those objects, experiences or moments is paramount to me. To share. Ponderings and inspirations to living a beautiful life….
          Thank you so much for asking! It is always a pleasure to have these “online conversations”, so thank you!


  2. Really nice blog post and some very cool images! I have to agree, I think the leather jacket can be a little intimidating but it depends on how you wear it! I personally love to team mine with bold block colours and chunky knits, or do almost the opposite and wear a lot of illustrative prints. I love iron fist clothing for this and I think so many of their items look great when simply put together with a great black leather jacket.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on these iconic jackets, Rachel! (And, of course, I appreciate your compliment!) It is amazing how a fabulous leather jacket pair with so many fashionable styles, with personal attitude!
      Fantastic that you already possess a great black leather jacket! Worn in personal style, indeed.

  3. You are absolutely right the black leather biker jacket is so iconic.. It is such a fashionable item and goes with so many items in a wardrobe from floral print dresses to biker chic. I personally like the style of Alannah Myles who knew how to rock leather in the nineties. I have had a black leather biker jacket in my wardrobe since my early teens- I am now in my late twenties- and enjoy wearing it on most occasions. My personal style is to have a lot of hardware such as studs and chains to adorn my jacket. It gives it a great rocker feel. I love to wear with black leather jeans or miniskirt with thighboots for maximum impact. It is my personal style and draws admiring glances which I really enjoy. The wearing of leather is both sensual and sexy and makes a statement and I like the tactile quality of leather, the look and the shine. The creaking sound of the leather jacket when I move is phenomenal – the black leather biker jacket should be a staple of every girl’s wardrobe.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Linda. You certainly have given further homage to the icon of the black leather motorcycle jacket! You are a true fan, indeed! The tactile quality of leather paired with its shine and strength does verify it as a wardrobe staple- agreed!

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