Open Your Own Leather Jacket Company

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Coriu, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. mtrlr

    mtrlr One of the Regulars

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    Hmm... my Vanson Enfield does not seem like that. I used to have a Model B as well, it was ok too. Yes they are thick for sure, as squeaky as hell.

    And yeah, the pictures on their website site don't look appealing at all.
     
  2. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    One observation I will make here is the reputable leather makers are all backlogged presently. In the midst of a global Pandemic. Leather jackets are not typically sought as a "necessity" item these days. At other times, such as World War II, they were. This is something to consider. I personally believe between this and handmade boots there is room in the market for a few more makers to emerge.

    Consider the number of PNW Bootmakers in Spokane, WA. There are three makers now building highly similar boots, and perhaps even more I do not know of. (Whites Nicks and Franks Boots) All are busy and have a backlog of orders.
     
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  3. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Let me know what she said! :D
     
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  4. AeroFan_07

    AeroFan_07 My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    ^^ Do it Handy Mike!! I Have personally seen 2 leather-capable sewing machines pass through our local Habitat Re-Store, so if you want a hand finding one, that could be done!

    ** They were probably not capable of 4+ OZ Horsehide however... :)
     
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  5. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I’m not really into the heavy heavy stuff, but the machine is what stopped me. Somehow I could scrimp for another jacket, but not a $1000 machine. :oops:
    Then, during the pandemic I began working on a personal photo project which took my energy in a different direction. I guess I’m stuck in the R&D phase.
    @regius is much closer than me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  6. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    mixing hobby and work is not fun, just because you like fishing you won't like to be fisherman for living, or just because you imagine it would be fun to make 1 jacket then it would be as fun for the tenth of the same jacket with your hands. my mom is a dress maker still doing her work in her 70s now probably more as hobby, but everytime a new project, applying the same craft but on different outcome not boring like doing the same jacket models again and again in various custom sizes in black and brown,
    unless you get paid $5000 per project of course :rolleyes:

    I rather just doodle up jacket drawings and get them produced by other people, elves, machine, aliens, or whatever, I think that would be fun if someone would pay me for that especially if I get to own at least 1 jacket sample of each. :D

    about the future of leather, heck if they can grow big mushroom and tan it into leather, I'm willing to wear.:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  7. dlite90

    dlite90 Familiar Face

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    Seeing as the last guy who entered the VLJ market is currently on a 7-month wait, I’d say there’s room for (at least) one more quality maker in the $800+ range. To me the trouble would be finding someone young with the skill to make them and (probably) finding a good source of hides. So I don’t think “competition” is the big issue.
    I think the best idea is to start with a small offering of common styles (A2 (with handwarmer option), cafe racer and hercules half-belt) and just stick with what you're good at for the first few years.

    Regarding the vegan leather thing, you could compete by stressing environmental friendliness in your operation. Use veg-tanned leather and line with Tencel instead of Rayon, etc. Sustainability is a powerful selling point.
    When you do the math it seems reasonable a new jacket operation would stay busy.
     
  8. Coriu

    Coriu A-List Customer

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  9. Tom71

    Tom71 Practically Family

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    But then I don´t think the majority of people will eat meat in ten years time. At least I made that prediction last week to a work colleague. Same as with fossil fueled cars, behaviours that are considered "not sustainable" will die out. Follow-up question would be if then there still is a market for "mock-animal" products like vegan burgers or vegan leather jackts or if the desire to copy something that has become "ugly" will fade away too.

    I could be totally wrong, but I already see many signs of a totally shifted focus in the people aged 15-30, and I can´t see that stopping.

    Interesting read on a related train of thoughts (fictional): "American War" by Omar El Akkad.

    I am not saying, I find any of the above wrong or right.
     
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  10. dlite90

    dlite90 Familiar Face

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    These are great links, thanks.
    I don't follow how too many cowhides is "killing the leather industry," though. I think it's a poorly titled article. The glut of hides is killing some cowhide processors.

    Regarding the polymer-based yoga pants you see everywhere, I think synthetic fibers are pretty harmful for the environment, even when made of recycled plastic. The article points out how plastic microparticles wind up in waterways when washed, but you're actually shedding even more microparticles just by wearing synthetics. Not to mention what happens to synthetic-fiber clothing when it's inevitably dumped in a landfill (which is amazingly common these days).
    https://earther.gizmodo.com/just-walking-around-in-polyester-clothes-sheds-tons-of-1842268029

    Taking that into account I think veg-tanned leather is way better for the environment. The microparticles from car tires and synthetic fibers are now enough to cause mass die-offs of fish along the west coast. Nowadays when you eat salmon you're also ingesting plastic microparticles that have found its way into the fish's flesh.
     
  11. Coriu

    Coriu A-List Customer

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    Success! My shrink told told me whoever had this dream is very disturbed.:eek: The headless mannequin represents that the dreamer has gone out of his mind searching for the "perfect" leather jacket. The empty house represents the emptiness the dreamer feels each time he/she thinks she has found said jacket, only to find a better one shortly afterward.

    She suggested intensive therapy involving prolonged exposure to ill-fitting jackets. This is one of her clients. He was once a leather jacket snob who had nightmares about cheap leather and look at him now...free as a bird. :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  12. Coriu

    Coriu A-List Customer

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    Unless you are in a profession that exposes you to children, if you are between the ages of 25-45, there's a good chance you have had limited exposure to Gen Z and how they differ from you and even millenials. When I was in high school, I would go to the thrift store in shame. Go to a thrift store now and it is often full of young people, at least in the US. I mention because Gen Z's, in general, have no problem wearing second-hand clothing and even prefer it in some cases. Will be interesting to see how this impacts "new" jacket sales in the future.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Most of my vegetarian friends wear leather shoes - one or two because it's simply what is readily available, but others from a very considered pov that they see it as a by-product of the meat industry which will otherwise be wasted. Not the case for all leathers, but given the most commonly used, cow and goat (goat is the single most commonly eaten meat on a global level), it's not an illogical consideration.

    The demand for leather clothing will I suspect go in and out of fashion as we go on. I'm sure at some point someone will produce a faux leather which has all the properties of leather and is indistinguishable, and then it will likely come down to what is cheaper for many people. That said, I also noticed in some circle a backlash against faux fur on the basis that it maybe "veggie", but it's also a petroleum product, hence its environmentally-friendly credentials are suspect.

    I'm not sure whether people will start giving up leather for environmental reasons other than the vegetarian / vegan slant, or an alternative being far cheaper. Not, at least, given that people still want cheap, short-haul flights rather than train travel. The biggest carbon footprint is made by having kids, and that doesn't exactly seem to be going out of fashion. ;)

    The big stalwart of leather clothing as a market has long been motorcycling. Now, for environmental and financial reasons, two-wheelers are becoming ever more popular here in the UK, but I can see a limit to the market for leather beyond aesthetic choice there: it's increasingly easy to find alternatives that offer sufficient protection; Bowtek and others now ever sell an advance-fabric underlayer which can take subtle, flexible armouring that could be worn under any clothing you like. An old tweed suit... Textiles already seem to be as or more popular for riders who don't care what they look like (which is most people nowadays, really). Point is, even in motorcycling leather isnowafashion rather than strictly practical choice.

    I don't know if I'd ever buy a fake leather myself. I guess if it met my ethical standards of production (I don't have a problem with my place in the food chain, and I am an unrepentant omnivore) and there was no discernible difference, it might come down to price...

    To date, the vegetarian leather alternatives I've seen which try to mimic leather (rather than do the same job in another way) are not nice, feel cheap, aren't breathable. It would be interesting to see what the like of Aero might be able to do with them, though - i.e. to see whether a premium product could be made with them rather than a cheap alternative that sort of had the look. Aviakit Lewis made the Lewis Bomber back in the 60sout of PVC, but it was only ever a cheapo leatheralike for those who couldn't afford their leathers. I notice Derek has not chosen to revive that one!

    Establishing a brand is absolutely the hard bit. Brand X might have a six month waiting list, but that just means Brand X has a big market. It certainly doesn't mean that all of those people will settle for anything else. Brand Y might only have a two-week waiting list, but they might not want Brand Y. Or maybe Brand Y has no waiting list because they have limited market appeal...

    What was that jacket like? I had a dream like that once, except the jacket was gold lame. Needless to say, in the waking world....

    Oh, I know of one too many people who worked for years to make their hobby their income, then lost interest in the hobby and endured a miserable couple of years until they found a new job...

    Leather is a rare wear among the undergraduate kids I teach. Whether for fashion or budget, who knows. I can only remember one, a kid who wore a bike type jacket and was very much into metal. Rest of 'em, in twenty years, none I remember wearing a leather jacket. I think the need to find work experience and internships had beaten any individuality or subculture out of them all by the time I got them in final year.
     
  14. Monitor

    Monitor

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    It's all true... ;_;

    It was a lancer front, made from shiny, black, full weight leather. All the stitching was done with an iron wire. Sleeves were rolled one piece which was stitched together with wire. Instead of main zipper, the jacket had small metal hooks and loops. Same for sleeve closure. There were no snaps or any other hardware. No pockets. No lining.
     
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  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Sounds more like armour than a jacket! ;)
     
  16. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    what the sleeve rolled and stitched:(, it should be laser cut raw edges everywhere:D
     
  17. El Marro

    El Marro Call Me a Cab

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    As I read this I am reminded of a funny moment between myself and my younger brother that happened years ago. I’m 45 and my younger brother is 36, making him one of those millennials.
    I remember talking to him about 20 years ago not long after he had gotten his drivers license and reminiscing about how excited I had been to take the family car for a spin whenever I could after receiving mine. I was quite shocked to hear him reply that he preferred riding his bike and he always tried to carpool if possible. I remember laughing out loud, shaking my head, and wondering if he really was my brother after all!
     
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  18. navetsea

    navetsea I'll Lock Up

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    Im 42 my half brother and sister is 31 and 26, obvious generation gap, but also different upbringing, and personality, I'm the one who would probably take a bicycle, the other two barely able to ride 2 wheels, regarding leather they don't wear leather jackets, leather as clothes is probably wont have a real place in future wardrobe, maybe seen as riding gear, or costume piece, I imagine it must feel the same with me seeing a hat or necktie, not hating them but indifferent .
     
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  19. JMax

    JMax I'll Lock Up

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    42? Well done my friend. I would have guessed around 10 years younger.
     
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  20. Coriu

    Coriu A-List Customer

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    How about a bespoke operation for your new leather company? This is an interesting video I came across concerning a lady in Nashville who does just that.
     

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