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Tuesday, November 30th 2010

The Evolution of the Leather Jacket

Leather jackets have long been the uniform of the rebellious. From the first leather moto jacket sold at Harley Davidson in NYC in the ’20s, to Marlon Brando donning his in the ’50s classic The Wild One, to the punk movement of the ’70s, proclaiming one’s outsider status has been as easy as throwing on a leather jacket. But in the last few seasons, designers have shown there’s much more to leather than bikers and bad boys.

In Derek Lam’s version (pictured), print haircalf panels give leather the look of refined tweed, while other designers soften leather jackets with elegant touches like fur, draping, and delicate shades of blush and bone. This style has also gone sporty: a leather puffer jacket and a hoodie style by S.W.O.R.D are the perfect match for beat-up sneakers. Other designers draw inspiration from the leather jacket’s WWI-era military roots, offering aviator jackets with shearling trim and bomber jackets with army green canvas sleeves (like this one by William Rast). Still prefer the tough-girl look? Channel James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause with a cherry red version by Elise Overland (motorcycle and attitude optional).

--Tonya

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