GoodWear Leather - 1939 Werber A-2 (new)

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by thekiyote, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Jeez people really get in a lather about Goodwear leather - on both sides.

    It's probably useful to separate out various threads of the argument.

    I respect John's dedication to the craft but I speak as someone who has no real interest in Goodwear products nor gets excited about 'high end', super-dooper, artisan made jackets. To my taste, Vanson, (for one) does the job of jacket making well enough for me and then some. And I'm not an A2 connoisseur.

    Seems to me there are three threads to this.

    Thread One: John is put on a pedestal because he does some magnificent work. Extremely well made and patterned reproduction jackets, with enhancements to quality that way exceed the originals. That's fine. This veneration of John's work appears to be empirically based as his work is judged to be as good as or better than the work of other producers of high end jackets by collectors/consumers who care for such things.

    Thread Two: It's common for someone with great skills to be treated with reverence, as a kind of god. We see this in sport, music, painting and, apparently in the making of leather jackets. John is a Big Deal in the funny little world of hand made leather jackets. If people seem a little hyperbolic about it all, so what? There's a lot of pointless gushing about things in Fedora Lounge more generally - isn't that the fun of this place?

    Thread three. Waiting periods and business model. This part of John's operations sometimes sounds unsustainable but I don't really mind as I am not on the list. People who venerate a particular maker will wait in line for ages and pay a deposit for the privilege. Boutique markets work this way. I've seen it with knife, guitar and violin makers amongst others.

    If people want to wait in line for a jacket and pay out some cash for the privilege, who cares? If the business ultimately collapses that's another matter.

    I look at John's jackets and think they look pretty good and his A2's when fitted properly look better than most I have seen. And that's just the photos. But ultimately - I think Technovox and his recently sourced vintage HH Vanson Enfield has as well made and elegant a leather jacket as I would ever want to own.
     
    Colin G, thekiyote and El Marro like this.
  2. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @Seb Lucas,
    That's a good post, and I agree whole heartedly, but I can't help but wonder if there's a fourth 'thread' to this.
    I've often (constantly?) railed against what I perceive as the 'elitism/snobbery' that some (in my experience, many) GW owners display towards non-owners. At least three times on the Fedora Lounge, I've been informed that I'm not a real jacket enthusiast because I question the value and/or accuracy of Johns work.
    This attitude is akin to someone claiming to be a better driver than I because they can afford to buy a Ferrari and wait for delivery.
    It's nonsense and nonsensical.
    Case in point; in this thread a GW owner claims the quality of GW knits even are superior, whilst it is known (although apparently not to him) that they are the same knits that Aero use.
    Also, taking Johns own marketing as proof that his work is superior displays an astounding suspension of critical thinking functions.
     
  3. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    But hey, on the other hand, maybe I'm completely getting the wrong end of the stick.
     
  4. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots I'll Lock Up

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    You can put MTM cowboy bootmakers in this group as well. I'm familiar with an Austin, TX bootmaker that stopped taking new orders when his queue reached 4 years. I'm familiar with another who's wait time is 3 years. There are a number of them out there with a wait time of 6 mo. to 2 years. Every one of them that I'm familiar with will give you an honest estimate of delivery, +- 2 mo. I have never known any of them to take an order out of queue with the exception of Rocketbuster and they state on their site they will do so for a fee.

    I read these threads for entertainment and have no experience with the world of custom jackets and never will unless I pick something up from the classifieds. I just can't imagine doing business with GW or anyone operating a business as GW does.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    Seb Lucas likes this.
  5. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    The jacket is gorgeous OP. Nuff said.
     
  6. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

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    @Seb Lucas I agree with everything you said 100%, and I am one of the people who waited. Not as long as some, but still a significant time.

    @Big J You say that you're consistently railed against by GW owners. Maybe you've gotten burned in the past, but in this thread, at least, no one's said anything about your taste in leather jackets, yet you've come across as very belligerent and angry.

    Honestly, if someone's said something to you in the past, I would think that's more likely to be the root cause than your opinions on jacket manufacturers...
     
  7. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @thekiyote, no. I didn't say that at all. I suggested that maybe constantly I am railing against some GW owners snobbery and elitism.
    Kind of like when they claim that even GW knits are superior without knowing that GW uses the exact same knits as Aero (I notice that you've decided not acknowledge this).

    The thing is, JC started out making test jackets and offering them at low prices (with no wait) to members of another forum of which he was a member. Naturally, at low prices and waits the recipients raved about them. Some of them were members here too, so they raved about them here too. And members here wouldn't necessarily have known that these were low cost low wait 'test' jackets. So the gushing followed over to the Lounge without members necessarily knowing that the jacket owners had been internet 'friends' with JC for many years.
    It's all marketing. Loss-leaders.
    Just like JC puts together a CD full of A-2 pics, and then posters here claim it as some kind of proof that GW jackets are the best. It's just marketing.
    What did JC do before making jackets? In the website making business. And what's that? Marketing.

    Like the two American guys who made a documentary about 'Lomography' as a marketing tool to boost sales and prices of a dodgy little camera, it was exquisitely manufactured hype.
     
  8. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

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    59
    I don't know what to say besides I never heard this. I know that there's a different way that he sews his knits into the jacket, but I also heard straight from Chapman's mouth that the reason why companies switched was to make it easier to replace knits. There's no durability loss, but there is a slight difference in the silhouette, and he's going for as period accurate as he can.

    So, if someone told you this, they're probably wrong, but it's not everyone who's a fan of GW's fault that you were one time told something that was wrong.

    I'm not sure why you think the fact that he started selling his jackets on the Vintage Leather Jacket forum is somehow this dirty little secret. Everyone knows. No one cares.

    They bought the jackets. They raved about them. Other people heard that, then bought the jackets. They raved about them too. At this point, most people who own a Good Wear weren't one of those original people. Yet they still like them enough to keep buying more.

    A guy who's obsessed with vintage leather jackets chose to show his work. It's a sign of his obsession, and gets pointed to as such.

    And even if it was some sort of secret genius marketing tactic (and let's be honest, it isn't since John really sucks at the business side of things, that's the source of most of his problems), what difference does it make as long as the people who are buying the jackets are consistently happy with their purchase?

    Ah, you cracked the case. We can all go home now (/s)

    I know you're trying to draw some sort of parallel, but even after searching for it, I don't know enough about photography to get it. I suspect, though, that it would end up being a moral equivalence fallacy.

    Oh, and Google says they were from Vienna, not the US.
     
    jacketjunkie likes this.
  9. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @thekiyote, that's some post. You sure you don't want to just skip to the ad hominem attack on my wife like other GW fans? (You know, just to save time). Lol

    I get it.
    I always got it.
    People paid a lot of money and waited a long time for what they heard were the best.
    So when it arrives they have to talk it up because they don't want anyone to say 'told you so'.
    They can't just walk away from that, they have to fight the corner AND win!
    And then 12-18 months later, like about 9 out of 10 GW jackets, it'll be for sale somewhere on some corner of the internet. And it won't be the jackets fault, it'll be 'because I lost weight' or 'I've been weight training'.

    This year alone I've had two GW customers contact me and say that they bought a GW and were less then impressed when it arrived. But they don't feel they can say so on the forum because of the GW 'attitude'.
     
  10. It's just the ongoing saga of anything JC or GW, surely always worthy of Big J scorn. I swear, that's all I remember being posted by Big J. I have absolutely no idea if he owns or wears a leather jacket or outerwear of any kind or has any interests here besides concern about high brow Goodwear promoters who must deserve his past several years of posted wrath that will most likely be repeated well into the future.
    HD
     
    thekiyote likes this.
  11. El Marro

    El Marro One Too Many

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    I have never seen anybody here attack anyone’s spouse or children and I think they would be taken to task promptly if they tried.
    What I have seen though is you insert yourself into damn near every single thread regarding GoodWear and espouse your negative rhetoric until the thread is inevitably shut down.
     
  12. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

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    I'm kind of getting that impression as well...
     
  13. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @HD, I'm not here to slam JC or GW. 'All you can remember' never seems to include all the times I ever said 'JC is a nice guy and he makes nice jackets' (and I've said that A LOT but GW fanboys never seem to remember it).
    My problem is with the business model (discussion of which is free game), and the 'attitude' of SOME GW owners (as always, they never fail to prove my point. Thank you).

    I posted pics of my jackets before, but just like real fighter pilots, I don't stand in front of the mirror agonizing over the length of my jacket, and then ask a bunch of middle-aged strangers for positive-affirmation. I'm happy with my choices.
    I'm here for details and facts. You must have learnt how important they are whilst you were in the Army at the same time as the Vietnam war was happening;)

    I don't want any threads to get closed down. I want to have discussions, but people are too thin skinned and are so quick to call for 'pistols at dawn!'

    @ElMarro, fair point, not here on the Lounge, but GW fans who read the Lounge talk on other forums about doing things to my wife and daughters. 'Nice' guys clearly. And one particular jacket maker joins them in it. So yeah, I'm not impressed.

    @thrkiyote, if the Lounge is a place where people can't ask questions, or disagree, then I'm in the wrong place. Asking questions is how people find stuff out.
     
  14. Your whole purpose is to scold or insult others that you label GW fans or even military veterans who you also enjoy attempting to belittle. I don't think any member here would imagine you in the fighter pilot category. As a matter of fact, It seems that you are so bitchy and unfriendly that not many members here care what you think or post. They just get weary of your same ole same ole. To top it off, you then rudely disparage the many custom jacket fans here for seeking opinions about fit, brands or styles with your macho high brow description of yourself. So just what the hell are you really doing hanging around the FL outerwear section except trying to piss everyone off? I'm surprised that you weren't cut from the FL a long time ago.
     
  15. Imuricecreamman

    Imuricecreamman One of the Regulars

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    150
    All the jackets from GW I've seen in pictures have looked good although the prefered fit seems to be quite similar across the board, atleast to my eyes. I don't know the reasoning for complicating jackets that were clicked out in the same sizes in the thousands with allowing custom sizing. Seems to water down both fit and the desired product.

    Are the different contracts that different when customers can alter vital dimensions inside the pattern?

    As to business practices I think Himel chose wisely, pricing his product as he did as it restricts demand to a size that is easier to deal with while still getting business.

    GW seems to have complicated this with a price that creates to big of a demand for a one man operation to handle. Along with the complication of custom sizing I can't see how it could have gone any different than it has.
     
    Mich486, torfjord and jonbuilder like this.
  16. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder Practically Family

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    Well put
     
  17. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Construction methods vary from jacket to jacket, as do the various details - collar stands and shapes, inset sleeves, pocket shapes, etc. John's very good at maintaining the integrity of the original contract within the requests of the customer. Personally, I asked John to keep my Dubow as close to 'standard-issue', otherwise what's the point of going to him?
    As regards Himel, I don't even look at them, the prices are as ridiculous as the Japanese makers.
     
  18. Imuricecreamman

    Imuricecreamman One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    150
    Yeah, I hear he is considered the best at what he does ;)
    But going through the custom process with (I guess) almost every customer must take up an enormous amount of time. Miniscule alterations takes as much time as the bigger ones.
     
    thekiyote likes this.
  19. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

    Messages:
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    In the end, waiting lists and higher costs serve a similar purpose, which is to control the stream of demand. Both Himel and Japanese makers know that if you want the jacket bad enough, you'll pay for it, and if not, it's no sweat off their back. JC has a similar outlook on his waiting list, if you want it bad enough, you'll wait. If not, he'll refund your deposit.

    The question is whether or not, as a buyer, you prefer to spend your time or your money. (I will say that out of the two, time is an equalizer. If you're better off, it's easier for you to spend more on a jacket, but 2 years+ will always be 2 years+.)
     
    Fonzie likes this.
  20. thekiyote

    thekiyote Familiar Face

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    59
    I spent a couple of hours on the phone with him throughout the process, plus a number of emails. I didn't ask for any special customizations, he's just a very chatty guy and will go into all the details of everything he's doing with you. Probably slows down his work speed, but it does make you appreciate everything he's building. Also, if you've never talked with him, his passion for this stuff is really infectious.
     
    Imuricecreamman and El Marro like this.

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