Cal Leathers and Al’s Leathers: are they “related”?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Bahabp100, Apr 14, 2021.

  1. Bahabp100

    Bahabp100 A-List Customer

    Messages:
    331
    I noticed that Cal Leather Jackets and Al’s Leather Jackets share the same location of Ventura California. Are they related or does anyone know anything about Al’s? Thank You 6296A844-6EE3-413D-9485-2D2D8CA2FD93.jpeg
     
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  2. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    8,369
    Location:
    SoCal
    I think I read recently that, yes- they both came from Star Glove.
    I believe @jonbuilder and @JMax are much more knowledgeable on this topic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
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  3. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    5,208
    Based on some online recce, I always suspected they were separate outfits building similar jackets. Both going after police contracts, etc. Because the jackets are nearly identical, I figured there had to be some type of overlap in their history, or shared employees. Whatever. Similar to Langlitz and Classic (they too had similar labels).

    @TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead recently confirmed this after speaking with current Cal leadership. A former employee, or relative of a former employee, started Al's.

    Both make excellent jackets. Really excellent. I'm partial to Cal's history but wouldn't kick an Al out of bed (even though I guess I did by moving one a while back, but it was just too large for me).
     
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  4. Monitor

    Monitor

    Messages:
    13,124
    Wasn't Al a former Cal employee who left Cal and started, you've guessed it, Al Leathers? Or something like that. I think Al Leathers worked from the exact same set of patterns, while sourcing hide, hardware & other material from the same sources as Cal. Not 100% certain on this but I do recall reading / hearing something along these lines. I'm pretty sure @ton312 knows more.

    All I know for sure is that without a tag, it is literally impossible to tell the jackets apart. They're identical down to pocket lining.
     
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  5. Kubatu

    Kubatu One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    255
    The one thing I'd note is that Al Leathers used YKK zippers and their belt pockets are top over bottom, whereas Cal's are typically found with different zippers due to their age, and their belt pockets are generally bottom over top. But these aren't differences of quality, just of design.
     
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  6. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead Practically Family

    Messages:
    973
    Next time I go to the Cal shop and if Gwen is there, I'll ask her. Her dad might know too.

    I think the info about it being a former employee came from someone else. But makes sense.
     
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  7. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    5,208
    Man, I coulda swore you posted that you already had this conversation with the dad, who I assume runs the upholstery outfit next door to Cal. Somebody did.
     
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  8. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,490
    Location:
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    I love the old Cal stuff but I had zero success getting Gwen to respond to my attempts to communicate, including leaving messages with her employees, email and phone messages. Yes, I have six Cal / Star Glove jackets but I do not know other than the name and general patterns what similarities exist between the old Cal Leather and the new enterprise. The new CL certainly is not producing rock-solid motorcycle jackets in prolific numbers like the old CL.
     
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  9. TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead

    TooManyHatsOnlyOneHead Practically Family

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    973
    I read it too, but wasn't me.
     
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  10. J Leather Investigater

    J Leather Investigater One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Wilmington n.c.
    J max i posted this information. I asked Gwen while having a telephone conversation about als leather. She told me that a cal leather former sewer had a granddaughter who started al leather
     
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  11. J Leather Investigater

    J Leather Investigater One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,257
    Location:
    Wilmington n.c.
    Question solved. I posted the info. Gwen gave the info
     
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  12. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,208
    Gracias amigo. Good to know I ain't going loco.
     

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