Five Star Leather vs Johnson Leather for Custom Jackets

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by jonbuilder, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

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    Man, I'd care if that was the jacket (JL) I received for the price I paid.

    Dang, that 5* is suhweet, got any more?
     
  2. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

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    I'm not sure if you were talking about mine, but the one I uploaded was my JL.
     
  3. Marc mndt

    Marc mndt One Too Many

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    Yours looks great. I was referring to Hh212 post, with the wobbly stitching.
     
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  4. ton312

    ton312

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    I have three, one was a disaster of my own making in terms of fit. I’ve since had better luck but it’s not a simple process. Every single last detail and measurement is provided.
    To be honest stitching is never something I’m overly concerned with. These are handmade, by a human being no less, so some wobbly stitching is unavoidable. Some are better than others at minimizing those things. The jacket on a whole was outstanding.
     
  5. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    I think the compulsion for comparing makers is largely pointless but agree with you that as far as construction goes Five Star is as good, if not better than, many of the higher priced makers like Aero or JL. I have had JL, Aero and Five Star jackets. The issue we need to understand better is quality of Five Star materials - in 5-10 years, if any of us are still here, how will Five Star jackets be wearing? Will the zips fail and the linings turn to powder?

    In terms of hides - I am not intereted in having a diversity of choice, I'd be happy to choose from just 2 or 3 good hides and 4 or 5 colours. Five Star distressed buffalo hide looks awful to my eye. But the undistressed buffalo and some of their goat looks pretty good. I don't go for pre-distressed hides like some Thedis, I prefer to add the character myself.

    Some folk keep saying Five Star are 'good for the money' - which to me sounds like damning with faint praise. I personally like this option because for me leather jackets are work wear, and many of the makers today make jackets that show off high-craft, artisan skills, which is perfectly legitimate, but not why I like leather jackets. When I used to have leather jackets custom made for me back in the early 1980's by a great maker here in Melbourne, the odd crooked seam and small mistake were part of the process. I actually don't mind this. There seems to be a drive towards perfection in jacket making that to me isn't necessary.
     
  6. bn1966

    bn1966 Call Me a Cab

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    Certainly happy with my custom 5 Star G-1, I view it as a well made utility jacket, the goat hide protects from the elements and looks similar to service issue jackets, the construction is great and shouldn’t fall apart on me any time soon. Shawn was happy to accommodate the collar mouton, Conmar zipper, knits etc that I sourced and supplied. I see it as a different beast than my Eastman collection but no less fun...and fun is what I had with 5 Star at very small financial risk...there’s a lot to be said for fun..
     
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  7. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

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    Totally. It's odd that I find myself on this side of the discussion because just in the other thread about the Schott x Shinki jacket I was talking about why do things like how many stitches per inch matter? If the jacket lasts with one stitch per inch, then I'm good with it.

    I really do think 5* is a gem, and at this stage more than a diamond in the rough as they're coming into their own.

    Agreed. I believe that 5* makes a good if not great jacket, there appears to be some hiccups which is totally understandable, and frankly all makers have hiccups. Have they transcended into the luxury arena yet? That we do not know, and that's such a fickle conversation to have. If they have, and if they truly can produce a product that directly rivals the Aeros, JLs, etc on a consistent basis, I'm sure they could sell their product without as much of a discount.

    I'm perhaps a bit more optimistic with 5* long term durability, based on those photos I have no reason to believe that those seams will fall apart at any faster rate than other other well made jacket.

    I wanted to underscore these points to say that I am a proponent for 5*.

    Where I deviate and position myself in a manner that may seem like I'm critical of 5* is when I'm trying to distinguish they are not comparable, which is not to say that 5* is necessarily inferior because they clearly produce great jackets, and like any other maker they have their hiccups as well but generally speaking, again, I don't doubt that they can produce a great jacket. But these are two different business models.

    I've talked to countless overseas makers when I had some suits made, and my mom was in the garment business for a long time, gained some great perspective on the business, comparing doing things online vs in person. For instance, in the time it takes a sales rep, who needs to show up and behave to a specified standard, and consult with a client, go through all measurements, etc etc, a person on a laptop could respond to literally dozens of emails for the same product. In essence, one person on a laptop can capture and service far more clients than one person in a brick and mortar (which is why I think JL is finally getting with the times and updating their webpage).

    It also puts the ownership on the client to provide the measurements, to figure out what they want, the back and forth that so often comes during a fitting is then put on you. Their job then becomes to make the jacket to those specs, which is related to but not exactly the same as making it to your liking.

    Having a set list of hides that they know well, that they source in bulk, dramatically reduces the per unit cost and potential issues that arise. I'll note Schott since it's easily referenced, their Horween and Shinki products for instance come with a notable price increase, and a limited quantity, over there stock.

    I raise all of these points not to diminish what 5* does, because they produce a great product. I raise these points to explain the difference in price. You may be ok with choosing from a handful of good options, but if those options are not Horween, Shinki, etc etc, there's a sizable price difference right there. 40 sq ft of Horween retail will run you over $200, more so for first run. Going for a character rich brown, need to match panels? There's going to be a lot of waste. But even so, that's already 2/3 of the price of a finished 5* jacket. Labor time is 2-4 hours per jacket. Factor in lining, zippers, shipping, marketing, customer servicing, and of course profit relative to their opportunity costs and specific situations, well you get the idea.

    Before this turns into an all out economic/political discussion, my point is that these are two are not comparable, doesn't necessarily make one inferior to the other, they're just being measured with different scales.
     
  8. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

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    There are hundreds of great hide you can purchase from the internet and ship to 5star, the total price including shipping will still be much much cheaper than JL, with speedy delivery time.
     
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  9. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

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    Also very interested if this is something 5* is willing to accommodate us for.

    Can you pls share that experiment? @Imuricecreamman did a pretty good dye job with his Cossack


    Wow, no wonder @ton312 didnt like his JL so much. I'm so lucky I don't have that with my goatskin or cxl jacket


    That stitch job is excellent. Very clean, neat, straight. It's not just good for the price, it just is GOOD. If 5* starts to offer better leather, a lot of business is going their way not just from us folks here at the lounge.



    Agree with your take here. We are just lucky we are spoiled for choices regarding who we give out our business too. Different makers that offers their expertise at different price points but close to similar experience is welcome.
     
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  10. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

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    I am gonna order Horween hide and send to him.
     
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  11. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

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    Wow, this is something that is really cool. I'm sure a lot of us here will be very interested with how 5* will do with a better hide. Maybe Shawn (wink wink) reads this thread too and I'm sure they will want to knock this project out of the park to help keep up the momentum they built.

    Can't wait to hear updates from your build
     
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  12. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

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    I talked to him today and he said he can do any thickness, of course I won't order 6oz , 4oz is enough but I will mail a sample to him for the testing purpose.
     
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  13. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

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    Got it as I remember that thread from before. Is it the natural or brown cxl? That's very smart to do.
     
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  14. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

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    It was 6oz brown cxl, this time will be Bison I think.
     
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  15. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

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    Yes that's it.

    Bison? Nice that will be very cool to see. Still the cross zip style jacket?
     
  16. Hh121

    Hh121 Call Me a Cab

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  17. Jin431

    Jin431 One Too Many

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    ^^ yes that's a good pattern to try and replicate with the Horween
     
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  18. TheDonEffect

    TheDonEffect One of the Regulars

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    So... not that simple. I mean, how will Aero and such stay in business if you can provide any of the desirable leathers and have them build it?

    You say much much cheaper, 40 sq ft of Horween CXL is just about $500 retail, which in itself cost more than a completed jacket shipped to your door from 5*.

    Now how much does 5* charge for producing a finished jacket minus supplying the leather only? Factor in labor, thread, lining, zippers/buttons/shipping/generate a profit/etc. $100? $200? $300?

    So what leather are they using?

    Again, they make a great product, but these are different businesses.
     
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  19. Carlos840

    Carlos840 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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  20. Downunder G Man

    Downunder G Man One Too Many

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    Interesting read from afar in Perth Western Australia.

    I have only ever had one jacket "made" for me , a copy of my 1990 Eastman Luftwaffe remade here in Perth in black goat.

    Sinnika leather the company , still going today , same (now old) Greek owner. Excellent shop to visit (leather AROMA).

    I don't think I have the patience and/or measurement skills to self spec' a jacket into the void of the internet.

    Anyhow I have PLENTY of jackets to see me out , kinda went daft these last 4 or 5 years.

    Perhaps I am just 'lucky' or more likely your average "everyman" size. Lucky with ebay searching as well.

    Stock off the rack 44" from Schott/Vanson/Simmons Bilt/Eastman all fit me well. My 44" Aero Highwayman "fits big".

    Does not stop me "looking" of course. BUT the thought of a single $1300 USD jacket ( $1800 AUD !) scares me.
     
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