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Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by ksozay, Mar 5, 2019.
I want this.
Its interesting how quick to jump on Simmons Bilt people are for copying Aero patterns, some of which are fairly generic vintage patterns but when Japanese companies are doing stitch for stitch repros of Lewis jackets that were original Lewis patterns, including just copying most of their range and passing it off as their own, noone on here bats an eyelid.
And of Schott jackets, too. But then again, a fairly common justification is that they're doing it in a better leather so it's perfectly okay. Right.
Though, to be honest, SB is/was using the actual paterns Ken created and that's where the biggest issue lies.
The difference which people choose to be appalled by is the fact that SB doesn't just copy the jackets but took the actual physical cardboard patterns and used these to make their jackets. The outcome is ofcourse exactly the same as buying an Aero and then blatantly copying it stitch for stitch, except the latter is more work-intense form of stealing.
Personally, I feel the issue with selling identical jackets is the economical consequence of it; cashing in money which otherwise would likely go to the original creator of the design. Therefore, I see little difference in what SB did in copying Aeros and FCL in copying Lewis Leathers.
Well, there's something on Grailed that I desparately need and literally can't live without so let's make a deal!
But it'd be too big for you. It is for me. It's a 44 or maybe even 46.
Laugh! Here in the UK if I wasn't prepared to ride in the rain, I'd never get to ride the bloody thing at all.
I would also probably feel faintly ridiculous standing around spraying a jacket with water when I could be out riding in it and breaking it in for real. I buy motorcycle jackets because I own and ride motorcycles, not because I want to look like I do. Whatever the effect of spraying water on it, it wont be as quick or effective as having rain hit it at 70mph or having it dried from a combination of body heat and buffeting from windblast while riding. There is a reason old motorcycle jackets look worn in, its because people rode in them. A lot of the artificial ageing of jackets looks exactly like that - artificial.
Of course it was more than that 'if you care to research the history' as a FL Moderater just recently stated. Ken Calder retired and left someone in charge that he had taken under his wing years ago and taught the business to. After a few years as the Aero Manager 'Will' decided to deceive customers by selling steerhide as HH. He and others then founded another company ( Alexander lthr/Simmoms Built ). Will then brought one of the new founders in after hours to take Aero Patterns and copy them on Aero sewing machines. Will then moved many machinists from Aero over to the new company. Finally Ken Calder found out that someone was trying to ruin Aero Leathers and came back out of retirement. He found the 'Storse' predicament along with stolen items Will ( the Aero Manager ) had placed elsewhere and sold for his own profit on line. Ken hurried to recover taking a loss to make customers right with HH that they thought they were getting in the first place. He fired Will who then went on trial for theft and served jail time. However, Alexander Lthr/Simmons Built already had the patterns nicely copied and put into production. It was not only an underhanded effort to do this, but also to shut down their competitor. I may have left some deceit out somewhere, but this is most of it. Why comment and dismiss the actions of what you seem to know very little about.
Not true at all. The thread on Addict leathers is a three page or more blasting of their blatant LL rip-offs.
Missed that one, will have a read, however it looks like Fine Creek are jumping on the same bandwagon.
Here's the thread: https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...leathers-cyclone-in-clutch-cafe-london.95269/
And yes it does seem that FC is adopting some of those very patterns as well.
I know enough about it and I've read all the threads on this and have no wish to resurrect them or add to them, it happened and I wasnt being dismissive. My point was regarding more recent, less debates events where there are now Japanese companies copying whole sale the proprietary designs of a UK company that provides jobs for highly skilled individuals in the UK and has kept production in the UK when it was probably more profitable to shift it overseas. Outside of the aforementioned Addict thread which i admit I havent read through, there doesnt seem to be much made of this. I understand Japanese laws governing copyright and provenance are very flexible - hence the recent boom in cheap Scottish abd Canadian whisky being imported to Japan and passed of as 'Japanese whisky' to capitalise on the demand for Japanese whisky. I would imagine that if a US company pushed out a brochure with the entire LL core range copied stitch for stitch, whether LL would have more legal recourse.
Most of these leather companies have already jumped the shark with rehashed vintage tributes but it is good that these old styles are available, to those who still appreciate them.
Aha, thats the one I saw but hadnt realised it was followed up. Well given the latest horsehide and lining options and the option to debadge LL jackets (although it does seem a bit like buying a Rolls Royce and snapping the bonnet figurine off IMHO) it kind negates the need to buy a Japanese copy.
Copying patterns and designs is pretty rampant in fashion (here's a good and relevant article-
https://dieworkwear.com/post/182837672114/how-thrift-stores-drive-fashion). This facet of the industry is combated by designers through branding and labeling their pieces to ensure their authenticity. Lewis Leathers is notorious for their badge, so identifying an original LL jacket is not an issue. FCL makes a repro of the jacket, which in my opinion is no different than really any other higher end fashion designer borrowing designs or remaking classics in their own vision. Almost every leather jacket maker out there makes a Perfecto clone, and no one seems to take any issue with it because iconic designs have always been copied and remade. Same goes for Levi's type 3, but you don't see anyone decrying other trucker jacket makers as attempting to profit at the expense of the original designer.
Counterfeit items (Bay Rans, Cucci bags, Golce and Dabbana, etc.) are a separate issue, as the intent is to pass as an original. If FCL were copying the LL badge it would be a very different story, but as it stands, I see no difference between FCL reproing the LL lightning and any other fashion label borrowing designs. LL will always have the cred as the original designer of the Lightning, no question there. I personally don't understand the vitriol with the FCL lightning repro, when BUCO repro jackets pop up here daily. Even on the micro-scale of just leather jackets, people go to extreme lengths to make reproductions of distinct patterns--Leathertogs aviator, contract A2s, etc. If someone feels that FCL is crossing a line that haven't thought of please let me know because I'm genuinely curious.
This is all my personal opinion, I don't own any FCL so I have no horse (or cow) in this race. I like their offerings and frankly think they do bring original aspects to the table. Making a jacket out of a single hide and the signature single grainy panel frankly bring more uniqueness to there jackets than a lot of other makers, patterns aside.
Not for everyone though, some people value Japanese workmanship and hides.
I would have personally preferred to have my jacket without the badge, they offered the option shortly after I received mine... I also wouldn't compare that badge to a Rolls Royce figurine, pretty sure the figurine takes much more work to make lol
Maybe there are some different experiences with LL/UK workmanship but I cant see how the LL jackets I have owned could be improved on. On the subject of hides, Fine and Creek have been very clever in identifying the key demographic for these jackets as being effectively 'Biker Cosplayers' , guys who dont ride but want to look like they do. Whats grabbed peoples attention isnt the shiny new hides on their off the peg jacket, its the 'after' photos of the hides all used and worn in.
Lewis on the other hand market their jackets as you get them, if they do promote their stuff in pictures where its battered and worn in its usually a picture of Steve Mcqueen or Joe Strummer wearing it vs some Biker cosplay dude.
The pejorative comparisons in this thread are, IMHO, inapposite.
First, to the best of my knowledge, FCL only offers one model that is similar to a Lewis model. The overwhelming majority of FCL's jackets bare little resemblance to Lewis jackets. That is very different from the accusation that Addict's entire product line is derivative of Lewis.
Second, comparing FCL to SB is, IMHO, preposterous. There is a fundamental and profound difference between making a similar looking jacket, and stealing a competitor's patterns and founding a company based entirely on those stolen patterns. The fact that the perpetrator of the theft was imprisoned for his conduct speaks volumes about the elementary and paramount differences.
Third, the suggestion that FCL purchased, disassembled, and reverse engineered a Lewis jacket is pure speculation and, absent some proof, undeserved.
Fourth, similarities in jacket designs are inevitable. As I recall, someone did a detailed comparison of Addict's jackets to Lewis' jackets and established the overwhelming similarities. Has a similar comparison been done with respect to the identified FCL jacket to discern the magnitude of similarities? The mere presence of a hemline snap and sleeve pockets does not, without more, establish offensive similarities.
This gave me a good chuckle. Comparing Lewis to Rolls Royce is, IMHO, more than a stretch. Lewis might be a Lexus, but it ain't no Rolls Royce. Regardless, I personally detest manufacturer badging on clothing. I don't need to advertise to the world that I am wearing the "Rolls Royce" of jackets (or a Lexus posing as a Rolls Royce). Its pretentious conspicuous consumption. I prefer my clothing -- and jackets in particular -- to fly under the radar, devoid of a brazen, unabashed, prominently placed badge designed to attract attention.
I should disclose that I do not own any FCL jackets and, therefore, I do not have a dog in this fight. Certain posters in this thread are obviously quite biased and defensive of all things Lewis (among other things, forum names plainly reflect this bias).
Fascinating accusation. I don't know about the UK, but here is the US, Lewis is not considered a rider's jacket and Lewis markets its jackets primarily to non-riding cosplayers such as myself. The lighter weight hides illustrate Lewis' target market. The primary retailer of Lewis jackets -- Stronghold -- is a workwear clothing store with no connection whatsoever to motorcycle riding. Thus, Lewis' "key demographic" in the US is substantially the same as FCL, with the exception that FCL targets buyers seeking higher quality detailing.
Work duties require that I disengage. Hopefully I will not be too badly disemboweled during my absence.
I think you are getting confused or just being playful, Lexus is a Japanese brand while Rolls Royce is British and thats why i used it as an example abd why the original thread hit a nerve - its a heritage thing, Lewis has been around since the late 19th century and barely scraped through the 20th. I grew up wondering who made the cool jackets that people like Joe Strummer, the Ramones etc wore, getting one custom made was a big deal and I was glad the effort had been made to carry on the name, patterns and standards. If people want to buy knock offs, expensive ones with bells and whistles or otherwise thats grand, but I don't think Joe strummer would be cutting about in an Addict copy if he was still with us.