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.

Kristin

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