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Advice for total newbie living in China

evablue

New in Town
Messages
4
Hello, my first post on this forum.

I am an American living in China and I would like some advice for getting a new jacket. Living in China really seems to complicate everything due to import tariffs. Furthermore I am inexperienced with clothes this high end, and it will be my first purchase in this price range.

I am willing to spend 1.5k or maybe a little more to get a jacket that will last a lifetime. I am really looking for best bang for the buck and general longevity.

I am looking for a true motorcycle jacket in the mold of a schott perfecto. It doesn't need to be precisely same, just the similar loud but never too loud or out of fashion style. As I understand you can get far better bang for your buck with Aero or Thedi.

How do I get them properly sized? Any advice would be appreciated.

Also I am leaning towards ordering directly from Thedi and importing the jacket, but I still need to figure out how bad customs will really be, and whether I can get it custom fit.

Any advice is appreciated. Also how are the "tony brothers" compared to all these high end jacket makers? I thought about ordering from them but I am unsure how they stack up to these elite jacket makers.
 

Jin431

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,918
Location
Bay Area CA
If you are close to Tony's they might be a great option since you can pick the leather you want and it's a bespoke measurement so it will be tailored to you as there's a dedicated thread here about that maker and the work looks amazing. I'm sure there are higher end retailers there so you can try off the rack sizing in store if you don't want to wait too long for a custom order. hopefully @Blackadder @puiyc1203 might be able to help more in detail
 
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matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
Hello, my first post on this forum.

I am an American living in China and I would like some advice for getting a new jacket. Living in China really seems to complicate everything due to import tariffs. Furthermore I am inexperienced with clothes this high end, and it will be my first purchase in this price range.

I am willing to spend 1.5k or maybe a little more to get a jacket that will last a lifetime. I am really looking for best bang for the buck and general longevity.

I am looking for a true motorcycle jacket in the mold of a schott perfecto. It doesn't need to be precisely same, just the similar loud but never too loud or out of fashion style. As I understand you can get far better bang for your buck with Aero or Thedi.

How do I get them properly sized? Any advice would be appreciated.

Also I am leaning towards ordering directly from Thedi and importing the jacket, but I still need to figure out how bad customs will really be, and whether I can get it custom fit.

Any advice is appreciated. Also how are the "tony brothers" compared to all these high end jacket makers? I thought about ordering from them but I am unsure how they stack up to these elite jacket makers.

When ordering from smaller brands such as boot makers from Indonesia etc I would ask them if they could do undervalue invoices. No such if Aero and thedi can do that. I haven’t asked aero when making my order, I just send the jacket to Hong Kong which is tax free and have my family to send the jacket to me. However both aero and thedi have official distributor in China. Their webshop can be found on Taobao.

And by Tony brothers do you mean Tony Leather from Shanghai? If so I think he is great. If you are based in Shanghai you can go check out his workshop and have him take your body measurements.
 

mtrlr

One of the Regulars
Messages
246
You can look up in the Xian Yu app (second hand market from Alibaba), there's a small community of leather jackets afficionados selling/trading their leather jackets, just like the folks on this forum. You can find most of the big brands there, the usual suspects, e.g. Aero, Schott, Vanson, etc. If you're looking for vintage, it'd be a tougher luck.

The experience on Xian Yu is very similar to this forum, people would post the measurements, so you'd need to know your measurements before pulling the trigger. I've sold and bought on Xian Yu, the experience was very smooth.

And as someone already mentioned, if you're based in Shanghai, there are a few shops there. I have no experience with other shops, but had a jacket made by Tony Leather, it's small shop, you can go to this his place to take your measurements. His leather selection is quite limited though (might have more now, I don't know). There are a few shops in Guangzhou as well, if you happen to be there.

Importing directly is going to cost you an arm and a leg, due to customs duties. And you'd need someone to help you with customs clearing, otherwise, it'd be a hassle that you'd want to save yourself from. Speaking from experience here.

If you're interested in Schott or US Cockpit, there's a stockist called Eagle Wings, they have a store in Shanghai and in Beijing, you can go there to try out. The staffs are friendly, not sure if they speak English. I've bought a Schott Storm from their Shanghai shop before. It's a little pricey (well, considering the import duties, their margin, and their cost, etc, but honestly, it's probably cheaper than trying to import by yourself).

Their website here:
http://www.eagle-wings.com.cn/Contact.htm
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,340
Location
China
If you have a favourite jacket in terms of fit, take measurements of it and use those measurements in addition to your body measurements. It may help also to have your body measurements taken by a professional tailor as he can better describe your body type etc so you can convey the information to the jacket maker.
 

Aloysius

Practically Family
Messages
918
There's obviously good quality leather stuff being made there. I'd imagine that means there are leather workshops and artisans you could go for, like so many here do (long distance) with Five Star, except you're much closer and can try things in person. In your position I wouldn't be importing, or buying American/British goods at hefty importer markup. If you want that stuff, get it when you're back in the US.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,926
I am willing to spend 1.5k or maybe a little more to get a jacket that will last a lifetime. I am really looking for best bang for the buck and general longevity.

I'm a huge Thedi fan and although their jackets certainly aren't cheap, I think they're great value and they really punch above their weight.

They offer a couple of 'standard' crosszip motorcycle jacket styles but they're also open for customization.

Vintage by N&S is Thedi's agent in China.

96F33E56-95EC-4AC4-90DA-C127C0622291.jpeg
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CE403F84-5505-49D4-8BD6-38764363B56B.jpeg
09E4F5B6-A976-41BA-919D-AFC97BF429FD.jpeg
 

matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
I'm a huge Thedi fan and although their jackets certainly aren't cheap, I think they're great value and they really punch above their weight.

They offer a couple of 'standard' crosszip motorcycle jacket styles but they're also open for customization.

Vintage by N&S is Thedi's agent in China.

View attachment 392328 View attachment 392329 View attachment 392330 View attachment 392331

Yes their webshop is called VintageTown on taobao. Thedi, aero, vanson and also Eastman.
 

Rich22

Practically Family
Messages
550
Location
G.B.
When ordering from smaller brands such as boot makers from Indonesia etc I would ask them if they could do undervalue invoices. No such if Aero and thedi can do that. I haven’t asked aero when making my order, I just send the jacket to Hong Kong which is tax free and have my family to send the jacket to me. However both aero and thedi have official distributor in China. Their webshop can be found on Taobao.
I agree with the "mail to HK" option if you know someone there and live kinda close. When I was based in Guangzhou it was the obvious option for me.
 

matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
I agree with the "mail to HK" option if you know someone there and live kinda close. When I was based in Guangzhou it was the obvious option for me.

Tbf a lot of vintage repel brands (Western and Japanese) are sold by reputable shops on Taobao. Really not that much of a need to import unless you are looking for something really specific. And price will be similar after shipping.
 

high-maintenance

One of the Regulars
Messages
250
I think there's an official lewis leathers stockist in Taiwan. or you can always fly over to Tokyo since it's relatively a short trip.
This is not topic related but how are you holding up in there? I closely follow the air pollution worldwide and China honestly looks like as if they've been nuked on the air quality map.
 

evablue

New in Town
Messages
4
I think there's an official lewis leathers stockist in Taiwan. or you can always fly over to Tokyo since it's relatively a short trip.
This is not topic related but how are you holding up in there? I closely follow the air pollution worldwide and China honestly looks like as if they've been nuked on the air quality map.

Air quality is terrible but as bad as it is, it's improved a lot. Pollution and carbon emissions are not the same thing. I would imagine I do not have the same income as most of you here. I have tentatively decided to go with Tony leather for now. It seems motercycle cross zip styles are fairly uniform providing the quality is good. Tony leathers should be almost as good if not better than schott from what I'm hearing, if not on the level of aero or thedi. That may be ok for a standard motorcycle jacket.

I may splurge and get a thedi some day, but maybe I will look for an opportunity where I don't need to pay import taxes and I better know my size. Thanks for all the advice.
 

evablue

New in Town
Messages
4
Where is Tony Leather located?
Apparently shanhgai. But he is on vacation at the moment. Any advice for liners? I want my jacket fairly warm. I'm thinking wool in a tartan style? Is there sort of a standard for motercycle cross zip jackets?
 

zebedee

One Too Many
Messages
1,592
Location
Shanghai
Apparently shanhgai. But he is on vacation at the moment. Any advice for liners? I want my jacket fairly warm. I'm thinking wool in a tartan style? Is there sort of a standard for motercycle cross zip jackets?
Locharron tartans or polished cotton linings are frequent. For durability, cotton tends to last longer.
 

matchankh

One of the Regulars
Messages
114
Apparently shanhgai. But he is on vacation at the moment. Any advice for liners? I want my jacket fairly warm. I'm thinking wool in a tartan style? Is there sort of a standard for motercycle cross zip jackets?

Tony doesn’t have any wool linings. The standard lining he uses is similar to cotton twill but with some elasticity. Nothing fancy but it works. I think he also does some kind of quilted lining and Harris tweed.

Also imo light weight Locharron Tartans don’t really provide extra warmth. It’s more of an aesthetic feature. I sourced some tartan wool lining on taobao for Tony. It’s not Locharron from Scotland but it is very similar to the ones aero uses.
 

ericsanpablo31

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Vancouver
I'd also recommend a Thedi directly from him - he will nail the fit... I think he has the best patterns vs all the other makers out there in terms of wearability and it actually looking good on your body. Thedi isn't cheap, but in the long run I would argue you'd save time money getting it right the first time.

Having owned a Freewheelers and a Thedi, I personally prefer Thedi.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,926
I was going to say something similar to what @Marc mndt said and suggest Thedi. They seem to punch WAY above their price point so if you don't want to go all out for something like Freewheelers or RMC, Thedi would just be a fantastic option.
I think you mean "go all out" in terms of price right? Because when it comes to construction quality and attention to detail, I'd say FW and Thedi are on the same level. But whereas FW is otr Thedi offers fully customized patterns and all the leathers/finishes you can think of, at half the price of a FW.

But in terms of style FW and Thedi are different beast of course. You can't substitute one for the other.
 

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