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red devil

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The comparison I keep drawing to is Thedi. They both have a similar ethos to their companies, but with Thedi you are getting a style that is more uniquely Thedi, and as far as I know he's making the jackets or is intimately involved with the process.

Yeah, Thedi jackets are unique in this industry. Theodoros is the one designing the jackets and is also always working at the factory. I suspect he does different jobs depending on the need of the moment.
 

Geekrobot

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OP's Himel jacket is an East Coast Peter's. Or an aviator leathertog with a fan back. Very interesting design actually. I am quite certain a shop like San Fran's Peter's existed on the East Coast during that time period. And they most likely made the exact/similar jacket as OP's Himel. But the quantity is so scarce (like the Peter's) that no one know they existed.
I've read that Dave Himel was in the old jackets trade before he started the HB brand. Only he would know what went through his hands. Easier now with smartphones and built in cameras. But it wasn't long ago we were still taking photos with film, then big digital cameras.

Yep, actually, he did a deep dive video on the Chevalier, the model I purchased, where he discusses the origins of the jacket. You're correct. Mainly, he added the expansion gusset / 'western' back (which I like a lot). The Chevalier takes cues from the Leathertogs jacket and the Buco J31, RMC makes a J31 repro, and Freewheelers also makes their Centinela, which is a badass jacket. I was looking for those before deciding on the Langlitz repro model (Comstock), since it was cheaper than all of those options, and customizable. As you know from my review, that didn't materialize, but the Chevalier is a really similar model. It is streamlined in a way that I really like, but it is as expensive as any other option.

 

Canuck Panda

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Yep, actually, he did a deep dive video on the Chevalier, the model I purchased, where he discusses the origins of the jacket. You're correct. Mainly, he added the expansion gusset / 'western' back (which I like a lot). The Chevalier takes cues from the Leathertogs jacket and the Buco J31, RMC makes a J31 repro, and Freewheelers also makes their Centinela, which is a badass jacket. I was looking for those before deciding on the Langlitz repro model (Comstock), since it was cheaper than all of those options, and customizable. As you know from my review, that didn't materialize, but the Chevalier is a really similar model. It is streamlined in a way that I really like, but it is as expensive as any other option.

The vintage off white deer/elk was a nice touch. Elevates the whole thing.
 

dudewuttheheck

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Pair beats Ace.


The overall ROI on leather jackets starts to diminish around the $1.2k mark.
I don't agree with the pair beats ace analogy for leather jackets overall, but I do agree that technically, returns start to diminish around 1.2-1.5k.

It depends on the jacket. I'd rather have my Freewheelers Bodie than 4 $1k jackets, and it only cost me $2k. I'd also take my $250 Vanson over two Schotts. When we're talking about something like that, it's much more subjective.
 

Canuck Panda

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I don't agree with the pair beats ace analogy for leather jackets overall, but I do agree that technically, returns start to diminish around 1.2-1.5k.

It depends on the jacket. I'd rather have my Freewheelers Bodie than 4 $1k jackets, and it only cost me $2k. I'd also take my $250 Vanson over two Schotts. When we're talking about something like that, it's much more subjective.
What if I told you there was a jacket that was equivalent to your Vanson in terms of pattern comfort, and it was made in premium leather like Badalssi/Shinki, for under $1.5K. Would you consider to add it to the line up next to your Bodie?

I am also searching for this jacket. Haha.
 

TheDonEffect

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500
It's quite a common practice actually for companies to buy the brand rights of no longer in business companies in order to use them for their current product offering. Think RMC and Buco, GW and California Sportwear. Or the Volkswagen Group and Bugatti, SAIC Motor and MG.

(Modern Bugatti cars are not design copies of original Bugatti cars, just like Simmons jackets are not copies of Simmons Oakland designs)


At the risk of derailing this discussion, I'll be the first to say I'm not versed on those jacket makers. But when it comes to VW and Bugatti, and Audi, Lambo, etc etc for that matter, I think the equivalent would have been VW going under for the diesel scandal, then the company deciding to bury the VW name, and then buying... Studebaker to continue their operations. And then saying proud to be American, but built in Germany, but all the marketing has USA all over it. All while not having a single US dealer, let alone factory.

Clearly, Simmons found value in having ties to Oakland, and using it as branding. We locals sorta take exception to that, because we endure so much criticisms regarding our town and people, but when there is something we can be proud of, like "street cred", it is at least minimally nefarious to try and use it as branding.

There are many, many companies that start out somewhere, then get bought out and move operations elsewhere, and they become associated with their current situation.

What sort of baton was passed from Simmons Oakland to Simmons Scotland? The higher level of criticism comes with the reputation of Alexander Leathers.

Standard and Strange caters to hipsters who pose as socially conscious locals, mostly from SF or silicon valley, who like to loudly complain about gentrification, that they caused. I hope S&S didn't stock Simmons because it says Oakland on the label, but they honestly probably did.

To be fair though, this is also some beef I have with some Japanese heritage makers. I dunno, I just sorta find it tacky and cosplay sometimes. But at least with the Japanese heritage makers, they are celebrating at the highest level the brands they are representing, a level of appreciation that's fanatic, their stores are chalk full of Americana, they embrace a whole culture and mindset so I can appreciate that. I've never visited Simmons, but I doubt I'll see one Oak tree, Raiders/Warriors/A's stuff, etc etc. I mean why have an address of an Escape Room in Oakland on your tag? I dunno, just feels to try hard for me.
 
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It depends on the jacket. I'd rather have my Freewheelers Bodie than 4 $1k jackets, and it only cost me $2k. I'd also take my $250 Vanson over two Schotts. When we're talking about something like that, it's much more subjective.

Jake, would you not agree that only three months ago, this quote would've read "I'd also take my $(insert price tag) (insert brand tag) over two Vansons and four Schotts?" ;)

Furthermore, why is it, would you say, that many TFL members happily & with an equal amount of love, own Freewheelers, RMC's, FLC's, Vansons AND Schotts, holding them in equal merit?

You have just discovered that Vanson makes a good jacket. It took you a while because as with any brand, prior to acquiring the absolute gem that you got rn, coupla Vansons that you handled didn't work out for you and that's cool.

Same way, some day you will get a hold of a good Schott that will make you realize a good Schott is the reason why aforementioned members, alongside many other people, have these absolutely stunning jackets hanging on the same rack, between the best vintage pieces & the absolute top shelf of Japanese repros.

Vanson, by the by, does not cost $250. It cost $600+. Custom Vanson jacket costs $1K+. They are not cheaper jackets. They are very expensive jackets.
 

morrison2951

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Vanson is worth every penny!

Although not custom, my Vanson Russet HH Model B fits and looks like it could be! :)

Vanson jackets rock!

Edit: Found a fit pic of my Model B.
 

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Canuck Panda

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Standard and Strange caters to hipsters who pose as socially conscious locals, mostly from SF or silicon valley, who like to loudly complain about gentrification, that they caused. I hope S&S didn't stock Simmons because it says Oakland on the label, but they honestly probably did.
Spoken like a true San Fran native. I say the same about just everything new (2000 and newer) in Vancouver too. Haha.
 

Aloysius

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Standard and Strange caters to hipsters who pose as socially conscious locals, mostly from SF or silicon valley, who like to loudly complain about gentrification, that they caused. I hope S&S didn't stock Simmons because it says Oakland on the label, but they honestly probably did.

On a related note I do find it genuinely hilarious that S&S is obsessed with politics, gives interviews that seem to suggest they see themselves as more of a political movement than a store, go on about "conscious" consumption, etc… then are the main overseas stockists for Simmons Bilt.

I understand that many people think there's no point emphasizing SB's criminal origins any longer, but even if you don't, I think there's a lot of humor to be had in the fact that a store that has turned "ethics" into a marketing buzzword has that partnership, hahaha.
 

HarryLime

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What if I told you there was a jacket that was equivalent to your Vanson in terms of pattern comfort, and it was made in premium leather like Badalssi/Shinki, for under $1.5K. Would you consider to add it to the line up next to your Bodie?

I am also searching for this jacket. Haha.
Field?
 

Marc mndt

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4,732
Furthermore, why is it, would you say, that many TFL members happily & with an equal amount of love, own Freewheelers, RMC's, FLC's, Vansons AND Schotts, holding them in equal merit?

Same way, some day you will get a hold of a good Schott that will make you realize a good Schott is the reason why aforementioned members, alongside many other people, have these absolutely stunning jackets hanging on the same rack, between the best vintage pieces & the absolute top shelf of Japanese repros.

I'm one of those people :). I enjoy my FW every bit as much as I enjoy my Schott.

Not that it matters but since we're comparing prices: the Schott was less than 1/10th of the price of the FW, literally (both were bought second hand).


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TheDonEffect

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Spoken like a true San Fran native. I say the same about just everything new (2000 and newer) in Vancouver too. Haha.


Oakland. Well, neighboring town these days.

On a related note I do find it genuinely hilarious that S&S is obsessed with politics, gives interviews that seem to suggest they see themselves as more of a political movement than a store, go on about "conscious" consumption, etc… then are the main overseas stockists for Simmons Bilt.

I understand that many people think there's no point emphasizing SB's criminal origins any longer, but even if you don't, I think there's a lot of humor to be had in the fact that a store that has turned "ethics" into a marketing buzzword has that partnership, hahaha.

They're a small chain. But yes I agree.
 

Brandrea33

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jonbuilder

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Yes, true on all counts. Even if Himel is considered the artist or the master in this case, I don't think he's ever been the actual cutter or sewer, more a creative director type, who has analyzed the patterns and identified some styles and hides to offer via his brand. So it's more his entire team is the group of artists at his shop, remaking modified or repro versions of masterpieces (while giving tier 3 service due to there being no 'dealer' middleman, as you work directly with the 'director').

I work as a lead artist in my career, too, but if I treated a client like I was treated, I would certainly hear about it from my boss. David did apologize on the phone, but there wasn't really much done about it, and the relationship did even seem to degrade further from there, so there wasn't any real course correction besides the fact that I got my jacket a couple weeks later.

Most jackets we drool over these days are reproductions, so I can't really fault him on that aspect of his business. Even esteemed joints like RMC are strictly repros of golden era masterpieces. Fashion houses like Dior Homme, Junya Watanabe, etc. all directly take influence from those, too, and just remix them. Even a heritage brand like Lewis Leathers, as much as I love their designs, is basically run by new owners who have the rights to the name and all the old patterns, not by the family or original designers themselves.

Is Aero still run by its original owners? I think Langlitz and Schott might be. Such heritage brands are probably the closest thing you can get to the product being made by the masters, when it comes to leather jackets, anyway.
Ross Langlitz passed. when I visited Langlitz about 2002 Ross's son-in-law dave was running the shop. The cutting and sewer work in the back of the display room.
 
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