At Vestiaire Collective, we know there are many types of coats out there but one of our favourites is the biker jacket. The leather biker exudes cool confidence and is so versatile that it can go with nearly any outfit. Wear it with some skinny jeans for a casual, edgy look or dress it up with a pair of ankle boots and a dress for a fun night out. Leather is a durable material that stands up to the test of time. When you opt for a pre-loved leather jacket, you help to save the Earth’s natural resources from being used to create more first-hand leather. With your perfect pre-loved biker jacket, you can pull a James Dean and rebel with a cause — the cause of sustainable fashion.
In New York City in 1928, a fashion classic was born thanks to a man called Irving Schott. He put a zipper on a jacket and called it, aptly, the Perfecto, after his favourite cigar. It was the first time that a zipper had been used on a jacket and the rest is history. World War II forced Schott and his brother to put a hold on manufacturing civilian clothing and turn to producing bomber jackets instead (which would also become an enduring wardrobe staple). But by the 1950s the Perfecto was ready and poised to cement its status in popular culture. The Perfecto was immortalised in the film The Wild One, worn by the original bad boy Marlon Brando. Wearing a biker jacket became synonymous with the spirit of youthful rebellion and punk subculture. Not solely for riding motorcycles anymore, it became a sign of toughness, street smarts and living on the edge.
Since the 1950s, rock musicians, Hollywood stars like James Dean, and anyone who wanted an edgy look have adopted the rugged biker jacket as a sort of uniform. The look jumped from the roadway to the runway in the 1960s when haute couture fashion houses from Yves Saint Laurent to Jean Paul Gaultier started putting their own spins on the leather jacket. Thus, everyone from counterculture punks to fashion’s major players have paved the way for the mainstream leather jackets we have today.
From functional to fashionable, the leather jacket is an enduring piece. Adored for over 90 years now, the asymmetrical zipper, durability and mystique of the Irving Schott leather Perfecto make it a key vintage find. Since buying vintage uses fewer environmental resources than shopping new, we think it’s the best way to acquire a biker jacket of your own.
The design of the Schott leather Perfecto has hardly changed since its creation in 1928, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only leather jacket out there. Far from it. The leather jacket has grown up and evolved with the times and come in many shapes and forms. Take the leather trench coat. Designers like Prada and Bottega Veneta have included these long jackets to their collections and their geometric silhouettes give an aura of cool competence. After all, who doesn’t need a boost of extra toughness right now?
While the leather jacket will always retain a certain hint of edginess, there are plenty of styles on Vestiaire Collective with a softer edge for a casual chic look, too. Leather comes in many colour options as well, so don’t feel restricted. You can rock your rebel side even if you adore a pop of colour. In fact, we applaud you for it.
With so many options, you can choose a leather jacket to suit your lifestyle. Simple silhouettes like the bomber jacket is an unfussy and versatile option that exudes cool. If minimalism isn’t for you, go for a fringed leather that expresses your bold personality. There are even leather reflective jackets that are great choices for those wanting extra visibility in low light conditions.
No matter the style, the leather jacket is undeniably cool, synonymous with rock’n’roll and rebels. But we think pre-loved leather jackets can be synonymous with sustainability, too. Fashion Activists can wear leather jackets in an eco-conscious manner by investing in a pre-loved garment that will be worn over and over again.
Sometimes it can be hard to find the ideal leather jacket. Especially if you want to stand out from the crowd. Why not take an existing leather vest or jacket and customise it to make it a piece that really represents you? Think of your leather as a canvas that you can use to express yourself and your values. Customising is so much fun, too. You can use pins, studs, embroideries, sequins and more to make something totally unique. Don’t hold back- modifying clothes is completely fashion forward and has a long history. In the 1960s and 1970s, the counterculture movement (think Vivienne Westwood) used patches to express political opinions and solidarity. In the 1980s the punk scene chose patches of their favourite musical artists as a sign of community. Nowadays even fashion giants like Gucci encourage playing with patches, and even offer customisation services on certain handbags.
Finding vintage patches to go with your vest can be super fun, but there are lots of modern artists who create great pins for clothing now, too. A customised jacket ensures that your look is totally you and gives it that rebel punk edge. Whether you choose your customisations out of a sense of unity with others, or to be completely one-of-a-kind, a bespoke leather jacket is sure to make a fashion statement.
Sewing is the most secure way to attach patches and it also allows for the possibility to switch out different looks over time. After all, a durable leather jacket will last you years. Yes, your taste may change, though we doubt a quality leather jacket will ever go out of style. Check out Vestiaire Collective for the best pre-loved leather bomber to customise and let your imagination run wild.
We all know that leather jacket production is environmentally harmful. The water and land resources that go into raising livestock and the harsh processes required to tan leather all contribute to planetary damage. But there is a way to wear beautiful leather looks without producing such a big carbon footprint. Vintage and pre-owned clothing is really the path forward for those who love leather fashion but are conscious about the environmental cost. Rather than using raw materials, pre-loved goods close the loop of the extractive fashion industry, preventing waste in every step of the clothing cycle.
Vegan leathers and faux leathers also exist and we imagine the demand for these materials will continue to grow as people become more eco-conscious. It’s a step in the right direction. But even faux leathers, if they are newly produced, come with a footprint that pre-owned items just don’t have. We always recommend shopping pre-loved when you can. It’s super easy on the Vestiaire Collective app, too.
Our fashion choices are really votes cast for the future we want to see for our planet. Our buying decisions are agents of change that dictate the kind of world we will live in. We can choose fashion that looks good and does good. By shopping at Vestiaire Collective, you join a global collective of Fashion Activists who are empowered to make a positive impact without sacrificing style.
A biker jacket is a statement item that deserves a spot in everyone’s closet. The well-tailored fit gives a sleek silhouette and we love how a leather jacket can boost your confidence, too. Men and women can both benefit from this versatile layering piece and these days it’s not just a jacket to go with your rebel look. Rather, a leather jacket can be dressed up and worn to the office with a button-up shirt just as easily as with a pair of ripped denim jeans. Get one with a cozy shearling liner and come autumn, it will be your favourite go-to jacket. No matter the occasion, there is a biker jacket that can elevate your look and help you command the attention of everyone.
The leather jacket is not subject to the whimsy of trends. In fact, the original biker jacket, the Perfecto, has hardly changed design in over ninety years. It is simply a highly functional and resilient staple item that will last for years to come. As it ages leather becomes softer and looks even better and, as the Fashion Activist knows, having pieces that are durable contributes to a more sustainable wardrobe and planet.
While black and brown are the most popular choices, these jackets come in a great deal of variety of lengths and colours so you can have fun choosing a coat brand and style that makes your heart flutter. While leather is a premium material that can be costly, shopping pre-loved at Vestiaire is not only good for your wallet but good for the planet, too.
From bombers to bikers, trench coats to vests, the leather jacket has evolved from being solely the uniform of motorcyclists to truly being a beloved piece for everyone. Leather jackets are easy to wear, effortlessly cool and yet still functional. What other piece in your wardrobe can you wear just as easily day and night, and in any season? The leather jacket can do it all.
Knowing that leather production has a less than stellar impact on the environment can be off-putting for those concerned about the planet. But that’s why we encourage our leather lovers to shop pre-loved leather jackets from Vestiaire Collective. Buying pre-loved means the Fashion Activist never has to give up on beloved styles for their values. In fact, we think that just like how James Dean and Marlon Brando challenged the status quo when they made leather jackets popular to begin with, you too can challenge the status quo by making your fashion statement a statement about sustainability.
Cool, confident and environmentally friendly? That’s you, wearing a pre-loved biker jacket.