Is this a 50s Windward?

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by semolina_pilchard, Oct 28, 2021.

  1. semolina_pilchard

    semolina_pilchard New in Town

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Europe
    Hi,

    This is my first post but I have been browsing the forum for a while and the Windward leather jackets really caught my eye. I got excited when one popped up on eBay in Europe and I snapped it up. In my haste I did not ask for a photo of the inside of the jacket and when it arrived I found it does not have a Windward label. The zipper is OPTI so I assume it has been replaced, and it does not have the sort of epaulette panel with stitching that have seen on other Windward jackets which look similar to this one.

    That said, it had the inner cuffs that have been cut out, the lining looks the same as some I have seen, with a darker bottom part, and it looks to be a 1950s Windward based on the measurements and pockets, leather (although I am no expert).

    It would be great to get some opinions on whether this is likely a Windward missing the label or a reproduction of the same/later era.

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  2. Claybertrand

    Claybertrand Practically Family

    Messages:
    789
    This jacket LOOKS like a Windward and it could well be. But be advised that during this era, these American Department Stores (in this case Montgomery Ward--hence the name WindWARD) put their labels on jackets that were made by one of the many leather jacket producers that existed at the time. In reality, there is more depth to these jackets than just the Branded Label. They were made by various old makers such as Appalachian, Californian, Fried-Ostermann, Monarch etc.

    @tmitchell59 is earnestly spearheading and doing the bulk of the legwork/research to determine WHO made these various jackets for Sears, Penny's, MW etc. and he has a few solidly researched results whereby he can say with a fair degree of certainty that this maker made the Hercules jackets during this era or that maker made the SportClads for Penny's etc.

    All of this is to say that these makers more often than not made these jacket for more than one retail establishment. This means that whether the jacket actually has a Windward label or not is sort of immaterial other than the obvious ability to place a certain value on the jacket and therefore sell it with the provenance that the label would provide. In reality, its highly likely that the same maker that made the jackets for Wards made this one---maybe for Wards, maybe for some other company or retail clothier. Personally, I have seen these jackets with Windward labels and also Alden's Men's Store, (not Aldens the shoe brand --- although they could be related somehow but that's a different rabbit hole), and I have also seen them with no label.

    So you have this situation where makers made the same jacket that was labeled and sold in more than one retail store.
    But also, you have the fact that during this time, certain jacket styles became so mainstreamish for whatever reason that multiple makers made the same style jacket in large volumes. A-2s are a prime example. It seems like EVERYONE made an A-2 from Sears Hercules to Penny's (usually with the Penny's label) to Schott and so on.

    In this case, although this is a somewhat iconic style of jacket, it was not mass produced to the degree the A-2 was. So IMO, this is not a situation of a mass produced model that could have been made by almost anyone. I would tend to think its more of the former scenario where the same maker made the jacket and it was sold in multiple retail stores under each store's label.

    The main thing throwing off this theory is the lack of epaulettes. As I recall, this model, and other similar Windward models that have the same elastic sides all tend to have the epaulettes. So this is a wrinkle that sorta shakes up the whole theory.

    I hope this sheds some light on what you are seeking or at least, provides some context for you.

    At the very least you know you have a cool true vintage jacket in decent condition. It's one of those things where this will likely remain a mystery until you find the exact jacket with a label and even then, you can't always be 100% certain.
     
    tmitchell59 and jonesy86 like this.
  3. jonesy86

    jonesy86 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,208
    Location:
    Kauai
    Great historical summary. Thanks.
     
  4. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,961
    Location:
    Illinois
    Other labels have been seen in this classic Windward. The missing epaulets and inset arms is odd. Seems all the Windward labeled jacket have both.

    This is the nicest condition Windward I have seen. Sold to a member here. Has eps and inset sleeves.


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    This Alden has no eps and no inset sleeve, but the same look. Note it does not have the hardware for a Detachable collar like the Windward labeled jackets.

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    JC Penney offered this jacket in the 1950s. Horsehide

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  5. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,961
    Location:
    Illinois
    This is the only Hercules labeled jacket I have seen in this style-Horsehide 1950s. Note similarities and differences.

    I have also the Windward labeled jackets in Steerhide also. The detachable Collar is often missing.

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    Claybertrand, Yamahana, JMax and 2 others like this.
  6. robrinay

    robrinay One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,436
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    I had one by Cooper sportswear with epaulets and no poppers for a detachable collar. I found the sleeves too wide so sold it on and used the cash to buy a vintage Moulton f frame bike.
     
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  7. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,146
    Location:
    SoCal
    Mine didn’t have the epaulets, but mine didn’t have a label either...
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  8. semolina_pilchard

    semolina_pilchard New in Town

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Europe
    Thanks for all of the information and insights! It seems then that it is a Windward or similar, with the missing epaulettes (and label) being the major differences. I'll keep searching to see if I can find the same jacket type somewhere.
     
  9. semolina_pilchard

    semolina_pilchard New in Town

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Europe
    Really interesting! Thank you :)
     
    Claybertrand likes this.
  10. semolina_pilchard

    semolina_pilchard New in Town

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Europe
    Thanks for the photos. You have some really great jackets! I am watching the Classifieds section in case any come up for sale ;). The Windward that you sold to a member here is stunning.
     
    Claybertrand and tmitchell59 like this.

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