Hercules Leather Co London UK

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Guppy, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    From the "Finds and Deals" thread earlier today...

    I wrote to the ebay seller, Mintvintage, and asked about the jacket and the maker. It appears we have a new player in town:

    So very interesting! They seem to be a good deal cheaper than the others, so I'm curious about that -- I'm guessing they are probably not near the quality of Aero, SB, and the others, but for the price they might be a good value. But I'm wondering whether they're really made in the UK, or if they're made somewhere like Pakistan.

    My curiosity is piqued. I think more competition is a good thing, most of the time. As long as they're not doing business unethically, as some of the cheaper "fake" brands we occasionally see on ebay do, with stolen patterns or even stolen images, but inferior materials and workmanship. (Not that I'm suggesting anything of the sort with this maker!) But I'm very curious. There's a enough of those "image thieves" on eBay that I'm a little skeptical that at this price point it's a little too good to be true, but I'd like to know more before I make a judgment.

    I've bought several jackets from mintvintage over the years, and they're generally a good seller, and they carry a lot of vintage leather jackets that are very interesting in their style, but often too small. If they can do modern repros of their more distinctive items, in good enough quality...
     
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  2. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I'm going to post some of the images from the ebay listings as I find them.

    Half-Belt

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/233288962902

    s-l1600[1].jpg

    Grizzly

    Unclear if this is a "Hercules" or not, but it's a reproduction so maybe... Update: Mintvintage has corrected me, these Grizzly styles are NOT Hercules, but another maker's reproductions of the style.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Styl...092555?hash=item3650fe894b:g:hHIAAOSw41ddKphg

    s-l1600[1].jpg

    s-l1600[1].jpg

    J24

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1940s-J-24-Style-D-Pocket-reproduction-Leather-Motorcycle-Jacket-Small/233286583815

    s-l1600[1].jpg

    PJ27

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-...r-Co-PJ-27-Motorcycle-Jacket-S-M/233287882169

    s-l1600[1].jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  3. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Now as to my opinion, from the photos and not from firsthand experience:

    I think the Grizzlies are clearly not on the same level as Aero, Himel, LW, and others who are known for this style. I don't like the look of the collar on them, especially, and the shearling panels don't look as thick and luxurious, either. But this isn't a style I could pull off anyway, and I'm not really interested in them, other than as examples of the maker's work. But then, they're also 1/3 to 1/10th the price, so I don't think it's really fair to hold them to the same level of expectation. That said, if I was interested in this style, I wouldn't be looking at these, I'd be looking at the high end -- probably Himel. But my wallet just hurts thinking about that.

    The PJ27 and Half-Belt look to be the best of the bunch. I don't care for the breast pocket on the Half-Belt, it seems a bit out of proportion and crude -- the "piping" or whatever the proper term for it is too wide for my taste. The leather is a bit shiny, and could be on the cheap side (and surely must be for this price point to be met by the maker, no?) But at least in images it appears to look nice. In person, how it feels and how it wears and breaks in could be a completely different story of course.

    I think the J24 is a bit of a disappointment, the back panel has a center seam, which I think ruins the look of so many motorcycle jackets (they're fine on other styles, such as car coats and pea coats). (But then, even Vanson, Bates, even Thedi and Lost Worlds, and many others regularly do them, with many of their styles, so it's not a knock on the quality, exactly, I just find the look of a center seam distasteful as compared to a single panel. Of course that doesn't stop me from liking my Vanson C2 or Thedi "Triangle Man", or my Aero Board Racer, all of which have center seams down the back and are awesome jackets.)

    Of course, there's only so much one can tell from photos, and nothing compares to first-hand experience.

    On the whole I'm not exactly impressed by what I see, but I am curious. If this maker continues to develop and improve, and hits a level of quality that is truly competitive with our favorite makers, even if the price comes up for this to happen, this could be very interesting in time. Now that they're on my radar, I'll be looking for more info about them and more styles as they come out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  4. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    It would be nice to see some decent jackets out there at more accessible prices. Pakistan may well be the way to go.

    These patterns seem to need tweaking but they're a decent beginning. The leather of the half-belt seems a little polished and pre-distressed. But it might come good in a few months. I agree about the finishing around the pockets. Is this a period detail or a detail that needs tweaking?

    Will these ever be up to Aero standard? Hmmm. In the end (other than perfecting the patterns) the key issue will be the quality of the thread used and the lining and whether these last more than a season or two without structural failures.

    I would be willing to pay more if they can source premium materials. Pakistan and India are certainly countries that produce some very fine leathers and fabrics so it should be achievable.
     
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  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Location:
    London, UK
    It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere. I would certainly expect these to have been made in Pakistan at that price. My experience with Pakistani leathers over the years has been that there's certainly some very decent stuff for a low price, but it certainly doesn't match the like of Aero or whomever (then it is being made for a low unit price to shift in high numbers).

    It would be interesting to see their grizzlies up close; my first assumption was that they would be somec sort of faux fur at that price - though they say "sheepskin" in their description. That could prove to have legs for those who kinda like the Grizzly style but aren't sure it's really them. Cheaper way of trying it out, I can see that finding a market. I don't know that I'd rush to buy, but it would be interesting to see if this geed up Wested a bit; Wested have made some nice budget stuff for years; you'd have thought if they embraced something like this they could tempt a lot of folks as a trusted, known-budget brand.

    I'd be a little wary of the quality of the hides at this price; a lot of lambskin, possibly?
     
  6. HerculesLeatherCo

    HerculesLeatherCo Vendor

    Messages:
    9
    Hi Guppy,

    You beat me to the first post. I was preparing a post to introduce ourselves on here properly. If you can just bear with me a few more days as I want to put an opening post together that includes pictures and we are just waiting on some jackets being finalised.
    The jackets you posted pictures of - The Grizzlies and J-24 are not our jackets.
    The Half Belt and the PJ-27 are, however those on sale are early prototypes and we won't be going to market with the leather hides used on those jackets.
    We currently have about 6 designs in the making and will add more as time goes on. I will explain more about ourselves and what we plan to do once I get the all important jackets finished

    All the best

    Tony
    Hercules Leather Co
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
  7. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    Location:
    Australia
    Welcome. This should be interesting. :D
     
  8. Guppy

    Guppy Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Welcome, and thank you for clarifying on what's yours and what isn't.

    What has me interested is the idea of another maker who:

    - Isn't *just* producing reproductions of the well known, familiar classics, but is doing something else. Kind of like the B-sides. If mint vintage gets you some unique jackets that are distinctive and like no one else is doing right now, that would give you a leg up.
    - Is hitting a more entry level price point, especially if there's real quality there. The upper priced makers are great, but are borderline unaffordable for many people, and there's not as much at mid-tier and entry level price points that are worth looking at.
    - Another potential option for custom work, and at a reasonable price. I have some older jackets that I wouldn't mind getting re-made.

    It'll be interesting to see how you develop your line. If you don't have a website yet, you really should put that towards the top of your priority list.
     
  9. Will Zach

    Will Zach Familiar Face

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Tony - if you prepare a nice opening post with lots of info, pics, etc, please ask the Mod to move it to the top of the thread for future reference. Good luck with your venture. This is a tough (read - extremely knowledgeable) crowd here, but if you manage to offer quality along with reasonable pricing and great customer service you will be supported.
     
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  10. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    The proper place to post would be the vendors (merchants) thread. I like the looks of the pj-27. I’d like to see some up close pics, hide, hardware and liner options. Certainly look really nice for the $.
     
  11. Peter Bowden

    Peter Bowden Practically Family

    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    united kingdom
    I could cope with something like this for circa £250-Please.....
     

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  12. Skanstull

    Skanstull New in Town

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    Sweden
    Would be interesting to know where they will be made.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,875
    Location:
    London, UK
    Most UK-based companies selling leather jackets in this sort of price band manufacture somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. Pakistan is a particularly big seller of leather clothing into the UK market. I'd hazard a guess in that direction, but it would indeed be interesting to have it confirmed. It's not gonig to be UK/US/Japanese made in this price range, given both labour costs and the historically weak value of the pound at present.
     

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