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Johnson Leathers Appreciation Thread

jonbuilder

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3,562
Location
Grass Valley CA Foothills
I have been going to JL for 15 years for repairs on my vintage jackets. JL made a custom jacket for me based on a Levi speedway. I am pleased with the way it came out and at less than the cost of an off-the-rack Aero at the time. It was good to be able to walk into JL for the mock jacket fitting to adjust any details. It is the only nonvintage jacket I own that I will never sell.
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
618
As others have said, their website is archaic, and despite their best attempts even their social media is lacking as well. But, I've been visiting them now for the past few years and even within that time things have changed. When I first went there looking for a minimalist crosszip, everything in the showroom was either Sturgess ready, or CHP ready, and all in the functional 3oz cowhide that's common for actual riding jackets. I remember thinking during my first visit if this place was the same place that made all those great jackets I saw on TFL. It's very much like looking through Vanson's website vs looking at Thurston Bros' Vanson stock. Now, they display more vintage styles with some variety of hides, but the racks are mostly still stocked with their tried and true. But at least now there's a good amount of interesting stuff that makes visiting them fun.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,251
One thing to also point out is that:
JL does a lot of repair work for other brands. So they know what NOT to do to a jacket. This is very important to me. And results in comfy pattern block and solid zipper operation.
JL is not original design maker like other heritage brands. But that is also their appeal to me. It's an open book. Or hole in the wall but a hidden gem.
JL also offers different leather selection too. From Blattwerk to Horween to game hides.
Yes I am a fan.
 

El Marro

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3,515
Location
California
But, I've been visiting them now for the past few years and even within that time things have changed. When I first went there looking for a minimalist crosszip, everything in the showroom was either Sturgess ready, or CHP ready, and all in the functional 3oz cowhide that's common for actual riding jackets. I remember thinking during my first visit if this place was the same place that made all those great jackets I saw on TFL.
This was my experience as well. My first trip to Johnson Leathers was in October of 2015, at that time the jackets on display went from biker cross zips to leather sport coats with not much in between. The leather selections looked more appropriate for a custom La-Z-Boy recliner than a custom leather jacket.
My last trip to Johnson Leathers was late last year and it was a completely different store. They still a large selection biker jacket on display, as this is their bread-and-butter market. But they also have a number of “cooler” offerings, including the beautiful jacket posted by @Carlos840 (in solid black overdye, not two-tone) and a nice trim half belt jacket as well. Leather options had also improved dramatically with offerings from Horween as well as other premium tanneries.
If they ever get their website dialed in and start offering some of these more special jackets as regular models then I think they will be hard to beat.
 

TheDonEffect

Practically Family
Messages
618
They are already hard to beat without a website, which is why I don't think they have an incentive to update it since they have enough walk in business, and perhaps that's how they want to keep it. Having a website will surely generate a ton of emails that will require additional staff, etc.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,997
As others have said, their website is archaic, and despite their best attempts even their social media is lacking as well.
What's wrong with their social media? Look at this young man looking sharp on their Instagram account.

ED959572-4613-4263-8240-6E51EAD0521B.jpeg
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,251
I like the darts and the elastic back. They give really nice shapes like a blazer, wish more repros do the darts thing. Pull tabs on zip looks cool too. I didn't know JL had these patterns. Good one.
 

red devil

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3,859
Location
London
Haven't had the chance to check in the forum in a while and a bit late to the party. But I cannot recommend JL enough. My next jacket with them is in production, will probably be completed in a week or two. It is another really special custom. That is what one the key aspects of dealing with them, there are almost no limits to what can be done :D

This is my latest jacket

zXZVOg3.jpg
 

Jimbobjr

New in Town
Messages
2
Hello, 1st post on this wonderful forum. Thanks to all for the knowledge on leather jackets, it’s been super helpful on several purchases.

I just received a Johnson Leathers jacket from an auction at a reasonable price. It is a standard cross zip variant, leather is around 1.4-1.6mm in the places I could measure. It’s very worn with fading all over. Here’s where the appreciation comes in, there’s not a single loose thread on any leather to leather connection. Everything is super solid even after being enjoyed for so long. Lining is not falling out all over the place either. Only issue is the zipper pull was replaced with a key ring. I removed it and made a paracord glove pull and removed the key ring. Fit on me is a little tight for everyday but with a t shirt on it’s good on the bike. Length is maybe an inch or so shorter than my other cross zips. No size tag anywhere but it’s a small 42 short or 40. It’s a keeper for early or late summer riding.
Jim
 

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