Legendary Leather

Posted on 15/11/13

Marlon Brando perfecto leather jacket

Ever since Marlon Brando appeared on our screens wearing a Perfecto style black leather jacket in The Wild One, the mixture of animal magnetism, brooding menace and sexiness which the leather jacket manages to convey has ensured it a top spot in the catalogue of cool. This functional garment originally designed for military use, was universally adopted by Hollywood as a symbol of sex appeal, and it has somehow managed to survive the constantly shifting sands of trend and fashion.

First designed for Aviators in the First World War, the first leather flight jackets were bulky, often featuring shearling-lined collars and lapels to protect pilots from the elements. Designer Irving Schott and brother Jack created the iconic Perfecto style in 1928 – a thick cut leather jacket featuring wide snap-buttoned lapels and heavy zips, durable enough to protect motorcyclists in the event of an accident.

It quickly became a popular choice amongst biker gangs of the 1930s (as immortalised by Marlon Brando in The Wild One) as the ultimate symbol of bad-boy notoriety.

The rebelling ‘punks and beats’ teenagers of the 1950s adopted the leather jacket as a social signifier of rebellion which soon intertwined with counter-culture of the 1960s and the punk era of the 1970s, before continuing into the grunge movement of the 80s which saw cropped, oversized leather jackets gaining popularity.

By the end of the 90s, the leather jacket was appearing on the runways of labels like Versace and Chanel.

As a leather jacket brand that has been around for over 100 years, at Barney and Taylor we design and develop classic timeless shapes as well as more tailored silhouettes in line with the refined aesthetic of modern outerwear today. In 2014, we’ll be unveiling a new luxury collection.

One thing’s for sure. The leather jacket ‘s popularity shows no sign of waning. In fact at times it looks like it could go on forever….

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