How a motorcycle jacket style went from banned, to punk, to iconic

Leather Motorcycle Jacket
The black motorcycle jacket has been popular for nearly one hundred years

In 1928, Irving Schott, a Russian immigrant, created the Perfecto motorcycle jacket who’s style has been in style for nearly 100 years. This jacket (shown above), made by Fidelity leather circa 1960s, has the same bells and whistles at 1/4 the price.

This leather motorcycle jacket has a remarkable pedigree when it comes to the world of fashion:

  • In 1953, this iconic style was worn by Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones” – the style of the jacket became associated with counter culture, leading to it’s ban in Britain and high schools across the US.
  • The Ramones popularized this style jacket – Joey Ramone wore several different brands during concerts, and wore it on the cover of the albums Rocket to Russia, Leave Home and Road to Ruin.
  • Madonna and Andrew Clay popularized it in the 1980’s.

The style seems always the same: Good quality leather, a full zip with extra wide collars to hold back the wind, with available snaps to hold them down if you want to ride with the collar open. One slanted pocket on top (for cigarettes and lighter (remember smoking was a normal thing in the late 20s) with two additional slanted pockets for easy access with gloves.

The final pocket was a bit of mystery, but a web search revealed the original intent was as a coin pocket. This Fidelity made leather jacket features a hanging chain made to support the jacket’s weight – bolted directly into the collar for durability. Check out more pictures below:

Want to buy it? If it’s still available, check out these links:

Poshmark eBay Mercari

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