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Peter Botwright (Wested Leather), RIP

Doctor Damage

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I contacted the company today, not knowing of Mr Botwright's passing, and received this reply: "Due to the death of the proprietor we have had to take down the website. The new company will be trading as of Monday 6th November, so you will be able to order from the same website address from this date onward."
 

Doctor Strange

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Very sad. Peter was from all reports a great guy. And while Wested jackets get little respect from the hardcore jacketeers here, they provide good value at the less expensive end of the scale - where else can you get a decent leather jacket personally customized for size/details in the $300 range these days?

I have told this story here several times before, but I think it's appropriate to repeat now:

I got a Wested Raiders jacket in dark brown lambskin in 2003, and I love it, it's my "summer weight" leather. In the fall of 2006, I got the large back panel caught on a car door and it tore a big diagonal gash. (Yeah, lambskin is more fragile than other leathers, but let's not get into that discussion now.) I contacted Wested and asked about a repair. They told me that they couldn't guarantee that a new panel would exactly match in color or grain, that the work would have to wait until after their winter busy season, and that it would be 20 pounds for the repair plus 10 for the return shipping. I told them all of that sounded fine - I didn't plan to wear it again until spring anyway - and I mailed the jacket off.

After a month or so went by and all I'd gotten from them was a confirmation that they received it, I started emailing asking when they were going to charge my credit cart, and never got a response.

Cut to 6pm on Christmas Eve. At the time, I was living in a tiny hamlet very atypical of Westchester County: there was no street delivery of mail, all residents were given PO boxes and had to visit the PO to get their mail. I got a call from the postmaster: though he'd already closed up for the day, he said there was a package for me, and since he assumed it was an Xmas gift, he told me to come over and pick it up at the back door. Of course, it turned out to be my Wested jacket - beautifully repaired, the new panel matched color perfectly - with a note that just said NO CHARGE - HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

That was, and is, customer service above and beyond, and it speaks volumes about Peter Botwright and his organization. (And demonstrates that even a Jewish guy like me can experience a Christmas miracle!)

Hail and farewell, Mr. Botwright.
 
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Even though simply image searching for Wested Leathers would always leave me amazed, the only reason why I haven't got anything from them before when I wanted an Indiana Jones jacket - and I still do - was the internet which persuaded me that somehow, their jackets are not in the same league as some of the others. I knew little back then and decided this to be the truth even though I now know it is not and cannot be. Every jacket I have ever seen from Wested is astonishingly beautiful and the customization, the choice of hides, hardware and details to bring you the most accurate Indy jacket on the market is absolutely incredible.

I'm really sad I never got the only original out there, a Wested Indy jacket, even though it was something I always had in plan and I now can only hope I will still have the chance to do so. Because for me, this is what it's all about...

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Edward

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I got into the leather jacket hobby really through Wested's website. I've been a leather jacket guy snce I was fifteen, but my first, a Brando style, was the only leather I wanted for years...... until Wested made me want an Indy. I picked up a second hand Indy in goat a few years ago and wore it in India and China - cracking Summer jacket. As light as their lamb, but just that little bit more durable. Once my weight stabilises again I plan to buy another, again, a goat Raiders..... though I'm kindatempted to pick up a second one in a heavier hide too. Oddly, while it could never steal my affections for my Aero halfbelts, there is a charm to the Wested Indy style - I think mainly in its very practical nature as a travelling jacket that isn't too hard to replace if the worst happened. I've even carried mine through an airport in Beijing when it astoo hot to wear it but the pockets were so convenient! I've also got my eye on a Das Boot coat from Wested - a style of jacket that I would like to experiment with in a size that makes it an occasional alternative to a blazer in the Autumn /Spring / wet Summer days.....

Wested have long provided a respectable product at a price and quality level that makes it accessible beyond the "cosplay" market. It would be unfair to put them up against Aero or Vanson or whatever in that a Wested Indy sells retail for less than the cost price of the premium makers. They certainly should not be overlooked, however - a very decent "entry level" jacket if you pick the right one - and at that not one you'll necessarily be quick to pass on once you've been lucky enough to buy "high end".

I never met Peter Botwright, but my life will always have been significantly affected by the cool factor of Indiana Jones, who first turned me on to fedoras, sharp suits and brown leather, and made dressing 'vintage' mean more than wantnig to look like Johnny Strabler or Wade Walker. Peter had an undeniable role in creating that cool factor, and for that I salute him. Godspeed, man, as you follow Wu Han into that final adventure.
 

Benzadmiral

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Sorry to hear about this. I purchased my Wested IJ jacket in goat last December. It arrived in good order, fit perfectly based on the sizes posted on their website, and is a tremendous value. Doctor Strange's story of the unexpected Xmas gift makes me realize that Peter was apparently quite the gentleman -- something increasingly rare in business today.
 

Matt Welsh

New in Town
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1
I ordered my first Wested earlier this year, a Captain America First Avenger jacket in lambskin. It's absolutely beautiful, fits perfectly and the folks at Wested were very pleasant to talk to. Like Benzadmiral said, he seemed like a decent fellow and a gentleman.
 

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
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Australia
I first spoke with Peter in 2003 - he was a very helpful, lovely man with a great sense humour. He'll be greatly missed.
 
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SUPERTERUEL

New in Town
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From Spain, my condolences to the family. I have an Indy since 2007 in goatskin and it's like the first day. The quality of the product is good and I hope they continue to make good jackets. Rest in peace.
 

davyjones007

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Like so many others, I ordered my first Indy jacket from Wested in 2002 and was a great experience working with them.
 

Doctor Damage

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The company's website is back up again, so it appears they are trading again after taking a break after Mr Botwright's passing.
 

Carson

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Nashville TN
Many years ago, I ordered my Wested Raiders jacket and when it arrived, I was a bit dissapointed that for some reason, the high collar chaffed my chin. I sent the jacket back with a photo of the corner of the collar hitting my chin. In a few months, the jacket came back, the collar resized and fitting perfectly. No charge. I've enjoyed the jacket ever since. We're all making this up as we go along, Peter. Cheers!
 

regius

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Decided to post a photo of the Raiders Hero, the one with “weird” fitting, but in my opinion an understated jacket worthy a high place in the hierarchy of vintage style leather jackets. Why? True that the Indy jackets are made up designs, but one could also argue there could have existed such a design in the 40s or 30s, though this contention could be a stretch. Anyhow, while the Last Crusade & rest of the sequel jackets are “boring” standard action jackets made for the movie, the first jacket actually features a quirky rotated sleeves & an asymmetrical shoulder seam, resulting in a backward dropping shoulder look, such that the neck hole tends to open & fall back, hence a lot of the photos from the first movie Ford appears to be in mid action or just done with a fight! I was wearing the Raider jacket walking around & it looks that way every time I move my arms. I always like a quirky fit jacket as it’s more interesting & shows more character, otherwise I’d wear a suit.
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regius

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My Gibson Barnes Indy also has rotated sleeves, the outer sleeve seams are about one inch below the yoke, & with the slant shoulder, it does too create this droopy look. Why do I like droopy shoulders? I think they make you look more cool, action-bound, & less pretentious/tense. I think the US Authentic one as well as the Kelso one are also rotated, but it’d cost me a lot to find out...


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Seb Lucas

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Interesting Regius. Wested made the first jackets in a big hurry and for cheap - the costume designer, D.N. had screwed up with a bunch of Wilson's jackets that didn't work.

The original Raiders jacket was an A2 with knits removed and an action back to allow for access to the whip. Made in such a hurry it doesn't really fit Ford and flops all over him in the film thereby creating a distinctive look. I fell for that look in 1982.

The Raiders jacket is similar to many jackets of the time but the baggy fit is very 1980's. I have also in 35 years of collecting and looking never seen an action back like what Peter came up with.

The A2 style or civilian flight jacket was the model for Indy's jacket, given that Alan Ladd in China and Charlton Heston in Secret of the Incas were the role models for Indy and both wore civilian flight jackets with knits.

Heston.jpg
 

regius

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Very accurate accounts Seb, I read that too on the Raiders (Raven?)website. The rushed work actually turned out to make it much more interesting to wear!


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Doctor Damage

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Great pics Regius. Wested's website says the Hero isn't suitable for tall & thin types, but seems to fit great on you... very film accurate and with room for a sweater underneath on cooler days. The collar stands away from the neck like their website says. You've got good straight posture it seems... I'm a hunchback, lol
 

regius

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Reason for the sweaty, doped face was cause i was rushing in & out of house & girlfriend was busy so she grabbed a quick shot, while I wasn’t sure if she captured the jacket well... but thanks Dr Damage, the Hero is a good light weight, soft jacket to wear running around, the neck opens up allowing breathing & evaporation of sweat


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Sloan1874

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Glasgow
The jacket's designer Deborah Nadoolman told me that the bi-swing traveled deep into the back - she emphasised this by shoving her hand into the flap on my Aero, saying 'I made it much deeper than this', so that Harrison could move freely during filming. She also stuck D-rings down at the bottom so that they could be pulled tight at the waistto give him a 'heroic' silhouette.
 

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