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Aero blackened brown or soft steer?

Tikimel1

New in Town
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22
I am back from my previous post. I’ve put a deposit on a custom Aero PHWM and just need to decide on the hide.

The hide I like best is the battered steer, but I want black (not brown) which isn’t an option. I have narrowed to either the black or blackened brown Vicenza or the soft black steer.

Curious to know if anyone has an Aero in soft black steer or blackened Vicenza and can tell me how they will wear?

I passed on my FQHH long ago because it wore like a tinman - even after conditioning and sending it to a cobbler for help - it could stand on its own. I worry that the Vicenza will be plastic-y and stiff as well.

My fit jacket is the badalassi and it’s too squeaky and stiff :(
 

handymike

I'll Lock Up
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I had a PHWYMN in CXL and sold it. I think the battered steerhide would be great for the design, and the soft steer might be equally good- a bit like a LL Dominator which is brilliant in a softer hide. You might ask if Aero could pre-batter/tumble the Vicenza pre-sewing, or if there is another black over brown leather option available. Black Kelpie looks nice, or even black French calf
 
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Tikimel1

New in Town
Messages
22
I had a PHWYMN in CXL and sold it. I think the battered steerhide would be great for the design, and the soft steer might be equally good- a bit like a LL Dominator which is brilliant in a softer hide. You might ask if Aero could pre-batter/tumble the Vicenza pre-sewing, or if there is another black over brown leather option available. Black Kelpie looks nice, or even black French calf
@handymike why did you sell your highwayman in CXL?
 

handymike

I'll Lock Up
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It was gorgeous and fit well, but I sold it because it was CXL. I believe the pattern would feel better in a softer hide. I ended up with a Dominator in Rutland Sheep, and I’m very happy.
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
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2,447
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Europe
My Ridley is blackened brown Vicenza and I like it a lot. Can wear right away without having to break it in first. I would take again and again.
 

Tikimel1

New in Town
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My Ridley is blackened brown Vicenza and I like it a lot. Can wear right away without having to break it in first. I would take again and again.
Thanks! Do you mind telling me how brown your Ridley has become? I like the idea of a warmer toned black, but at the end of the day, I still want it to be black (not fade to brown in ten years)
 
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MrProper

Call Me a Cab
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2,447
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Thanks! Do you mind telling me how brown your Ridley has become? I like the idea of a warmer toned black, but at the end of the day, I still want it to be black (not fade to brown in ten years)
Then I don't think blackened brown is for you. The black definitely goes away in the stressed areas.
My FQHH CXL was black and there came in. some few places brown through, but without running the risk that this happens to the whole jacket.
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Edward

Bartender
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23,271
Location
London, UK
My CXL FQHH Bootlegger is definitely now as soft as any other hide I've owned, just a matter of break in. Aero did some years back offer 'tumbled' CXL FQHH, which was pre-treated somehow to break it in before the hides were made up into jackets - don't know if that's still an option. My HWM is made from the soft steer and I have owned other jackets made from it. it's not your common or garden 'soft' hide - there's plenty of substance to it. My HWM is the same thickness as my FQHH jackets, but the hide was much softer from the get-go. It has also remained a nice, uniform black allover, which is exactly what I wanted in that jacket. Don't expect it to have the same level of grain as some other hide will, but for my tastes it's the perfect hide for that style of jacket, just like the smooth, black hides Lewis used back in the early Sixties. Looks great on that minimalist style of jacket design. One of my most-worn jackets; indeed, I'm just about to send it back for a reline, ten years on from when I bought it.
 

handymike

I'll Lock Up
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Here is a link to @torfjord’s soft steerhide Highwayman:

 

Tikimel1

New in Town
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22
Then I don't think blackened brown is for you. The black definitely goes away in the stressed areas.
My FQHH CXL was black and there came in. some few places brown through, but without running the risk that this happens to the whole jacket.
View attachment 428402
View attachment 428403View attachment 428404View attachment 428405
Oh wow, yeah it’s definitely browner than what I am after. Your CXL had great patina!
Thank you so much for sharing your photos! This helps a lot!
 

Tikimel1

New in Town
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22
My CXL FQHH Bootlegger is definitely now as soft as any other hide I've owned, just a matter of break in. Aero did some years back offer 'tumbled' CXL FQHH, which was pre-treated somehow to break it in before the hides were made up into jackets - don't know if that's still an option. My HWM is made from the soft steer and I have owned other jackets made from it. it's not your common or garden 'soft' hide - there's plenty of substance to it. My HWM is the same thickness as my FQHH jackets, but the hide was much softer from the get-go. It has also remained a nice, uniform black allover, which is exactly what I wanted in that jacket. Don't expect it to have the same level of grain as some other hide will, but for my tastes it's the perfect hide for that style of jacket, just like the smooth, black hides Lewis used back in the early Sixties. Looks great on that minimalist style of jacket design. One of my most-worn jackets; indeed, I'm just about to send it back for a reline, ten years on from when I bought it.
This description is really helpful!! It sounds like the steer is heavier, but more pliable…. I am fine with a heavier or beefier(ha) weight; it’s restricted movement I don’t want.

I wonder if the Vicenza might be better on a cafe racer or even an A-2…
 

Tikimel1

New in Town
Messages
22
Here is a link to @torfjord’s soft steerhide Highwayman:

Oh cool! Thank you! He had me at “pliable” lol
 

Fonzie

One Too Many
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1,333
Location
Australia
Vincenza blackened brown is very soft from the get go and easy to move in, I have it in a board racer and it’s my most comfortable jacket, so I wear it a lot but mine hasn’t shown too much brown and is 4 years old.

I also have a black CXL cafe racer that is older but still quite stiff specially when cold outside. I love the leather but it’s not as comfy, the brown underneath has shown way more in less time.
I have a black Vincenza PHB as well that is between the other two in terms of stiffness but is a great compromise, comfortable but substantial, no brown underneath though.
 

Edward

Bartender
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23,271
Location
London, UK
This description is really helpful!! It sounds like the steer is heavier, but more pliable…. I am fine with a heavier or beefier(ha) weight; it’s restricted movement I don’t want.

I wonder if the Vicenza might be better on a cafe racer or even an A-2…

It feels fairly equal to me to my Schott. LIghter and softer than the CXL FQHH and very much so the CXLSteer, but by no means a hide you'd be worried about damaging.
 

gmcd

One of the Regulars
Messages
100
Location
United States
My Ridley is blackened brown Vicenza and I like it a lot. Can wear right away without having to break it in first. I would take again and again.
Thanks! Do you mind telling me how brown your Ridley has become? I like the idea of a warmer toned black, but at the end of the day, I still want it to be black (not fade to brown in ten years)
I've got a Ridley in black (not blackened brown) vicenza that's seen a lot of use and still looks very much black and has tons of character (creases, graining...)
 

Sloan1874

I'll Lock Up
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8,389
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Glasgow
Vicenza is definitely a softer option than FQHH. The stiffness of the latter can catch people by surprise, and if you're not into the whole breaking process, which can take a year in some cases, then I can imagine it would be more frustrating than fun.
I personally love the blackened brown as it wears in beautifully and becomes uniquely yours after a bit of wear. I have a Dustbowl made of black-brown shinki, it was a test piece for the pattern, and it has a light brown base under the top coat. Over the years, the dark coat has worn away to create a subtle patina, which I love (I think in Japan it's referred to 'tea core').
 
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