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Ralph Lauren with Vintage Langlitz from the 50s
April 8
Author: Spiff
The best VTG biker jacket is ...

We just put a little piggy bank next to the computer. Officially today is the day to start save money. This is an arduous task to get hold of some of the jewels that we will detail below.

And it is that we have been studying the leather jacket issue for some time. We got tired of the low-cost leather jackets: not to judge them, but people always end up having 3 or 4 of them.

The day has come to realize that maybe it's a great time to invest and get one of those movie jackets that will last us many years and what better way to do it than to dive among the vintage universe. As the movie customs, now are not the same as the clothes years before, right?

Before classifying a jacket as premium or not, we must have some notion of the elements that make it this categorization:

50s:

Never before or after this period the biker jacket had such an impact. After World War II, the United States experienced a tree in many aspects. People had just suffered a war and what they wanted now was to have fun. The first biker clubs emerged then; bikers who had previously been soldiers and who used their leather jackets to use them on the motorcycle.

The cinema acted as a fabulous avenue of fun and entertainment.

Marlon Brando appeared on the big screen embodying Johnny strabler, leader of Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, in the movie The wild one, and he did it dressed in a leather jacket and leaving everyone with their mouths open.

Did the same James Dean, Jim Stark, boarded a Triumph TR5 Trophy in Rebel without a cause.

The two of them, to be fair to the signature, were wearing Schott Perfecto. Comor? Yes, Perfecto was the name of the sucker. Do not rush, now we will tell you ...

marlon brando perfect leather jacket

Marlon Brando

Johnny Strabler, and his Perfecto.

James Dean Perfect Leather Jacket

James Dean

Jim Starck and his Perfecto.

The two actors conveyed an absolutely groundbreaking image. Until that time, American society was sober, not to say bland, and both Brando and Dean (perhaps more the latter due to the succession of episodes of his live), were presented as two icons of youth, freedom and rebellion.

The fact is that if now we want to get an original vintage jacket from the 50s, we will probably have to scratch our pockets as those precisely born in that era, are the ones with the highest price. Especially the Buco and Beck are displayed as objects of desire on auction platforms, where the nostalgic get to pay between 1500 and $ 3000 for them.

To make matters worse, if the jacket is decorated with pins and patches from the AMA (American Motorcycle Association), the jacket acquires a much higher value.

buco j100 vintage AMA

Buco J100 from the 50s with AMA pins

Apart from those mentioned, famous were also in the decade, jackets produced in department stores such as Sears, which produced the jacket Hercules, or as Montgomery Ward, which did the same with the Ward. These, despite being cheaper jackets before, have now risen in value in the market vintage.

The Buco, the Beck, the Hercules, the Ward, the Schott, are therefore authentic jewels of high price in internet auctions and specialized stores, but probably, if we ask a lover of the vintage, will tell us that there is no better vintage biker jacket than a Langlitz Cascade from the 50s, a jacket for people obsessed with the sector, that is willing to pay 15 grands. Yes, you read it right: 15.000 dollars.

langlitz leathers vintage cascade biker jacket

Policemen in Langlitz Jackets

The Perfecto:

If we tell you that we are going to tell you later, trust us.

It was the year 1913 when two boys, Irving and Jack, sons of Russian immigrants, established a factory in the basement of a residential building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. There they started making rain coats. Leather-lined raincoats that a collector would surely kill for today. The Schott brothers made these garments and sold them like the one who sells encyclopedias, from door to door.

But they couldn't stay there, they wanted something groundbreaking. Their inclination to innovate and provide solutions to people's clothing needs led them to integrate new technologies into their garments. In this way, in 1925, they would be the first to put a zipper (Zipper) on their clothes. Imagine the story by taking out the buttons and being able to fasten your jacket with a zipper ... Not even the soda.

With that same creative and functional impetus, one of the brothers, Irving, created the first biker jacket in 1928. His first model called it The Perfecto. The boy was a smoker and he did it in honor of his favorite cigar, how romantic Irving ... The jacket was possible to get it for $5.5! at a Harley Davidson dealer based in Long Island, New York.

We took one of those inflation calculators and that $5.5 from the late 20s would translate to about $70 today. Who wouldn't want a Perfecto for $70?

perfect one star vintage

Perfect One Star

Talon Zipper:

What would have happened to the Schott brothers if the zipper had not been invented years earlier?

Paying attention to a zipper today is like paying attention to a televised cricket game at 2 a.m. Even cricket fans couldn't do it with high performance. This task is only reserved for the very freaks. Something similar happens with zippers. It goes without saying that at Spiff we are freaks enough to do it; Although today this element is irrelevant, in its time it was a real discovery.

We must then give thanks to a lord, Whitcomb Judson, who back in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair under the Universal Fastener Company, showed to the world his zipper. At that time the thing was difficult to materialize and there were many things to polish, but Judson, big-headed, and his company Talon, moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, creating a production plant. There, they would achieve success with Gedeon Sunbäck. Gedeon worked in the factory, he was an electrical engineer and had Swedish-American nationality. As a cover letter for regular Tinder, but after that he was recognized as the responsible for giving Judson’s invention a spin and designing the zipper as we know today. A perfect combination. The same must have thought the boss’s daughter by marrying him.

The Talon firm would remain the undisputed market leader until the 80s, which was replaced by the company YKK, taking over the market and remaining a leader ever since.

There are other zippers such as Cronmar and the Crown with almost equal relevance as the Talon.

heel zipper

Talon Zip Detail according to the year

Horsehide:

If what you want is that your jacket last and be everything-proof, including razors, horsehide is the fabric to choose. Horsehide or horse skin, is the most resistant and durable leather.

What is the “downside”? Its stiffness. This type of leather is made with a multitude of oils and waxes in the tanning process that when cooled, like any wax, hardens. Jackets with this type of leather are often presented as true armor that in some cases prevent full mobility. That is, you can move, but not to dance a Macarena.

It is true that this rigidity is what gives the garment an identifying stamp and a much more authentic aging and more beautiful than the one that appears in any other; what purists call patina. Yes, it's like watches. The latter also makes a jacket worth more or less. More wear, more expensive ... With exceptions, of course, not if it's destroyed.

The 501 method, that of getting into the bathtub and holding on with the garment on, we can extrapolate to these jackets if our objective is to soften them. We do not recommend it, we prefer to age them with their own use and tame them as time passes.

There is also the method Savile Tweed Suit. A curious method very recurrent among aristocrats of yesteryear, which basically resulted in lending the suit just bought in Savile Row to the gardener of the mansion. Useful for all those who have a trusted gardener.

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