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The Fedora Lounge Vintage-Style Leather Jacket Collaboration Designed by You

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Note: This thread contains posts from another, earlier thread in which the idea of a custom design gained traction. As the threads are merged together in order of posting, I am copying the original first post by tmitchell59 here as an added edit. The original post also appears farther into the thread. - Scotrace

This thread is going to be set up to do some exchange of ideas about designing a jacket with HPA and Buzz Rickson.

The plan is to merge my Buzz Rickson thread with this.

I have two of their jackets so I'll just keep quiet and let you guys come up with something. All the past jackets have been great.

Enjoy.





Well, I'm pleased you all like these coats now that they're no longer available. :p[huh] These were made under the Aviation Associates label, which is the Buzz Rickson's line of items forged from civilian designs of the past. The designs have never been repeated, which isn't to say they never will be repeated, because the AA label has only been around for five years, but it's an erroneous belief that Buzz Rickson's repeat styles every year even if a style has existed for 10 years in a row (they could withdraw an item out of the blue, as they did with their blue USAF B-15C for five years).

Both styles have knit cuffs up inside the sleeves and both are lined in wool blanketing. The camel-colored coat was produced along with a black version in 2010 (see pics below). Despite the dollar's great weakness back then and these coats selling for about $1, 750.00, they performed brilliantly and I personally own the black version. When the double-breasted coat with sheepskin collar was introduced for 2011, it was offered in brown or black with sleeves lined in a beautiful salmon-colored rayon acetate and we again stocked both colors. The dollar had further weakened that year, so these coats were selling for about $1, 875.00. I'll never know for sure, but I suspect the price had a great deal to do with the horrible performance of these styles, because the last few we had left had to be sold for near cost just to make them go away - and they went away quickly after that!

The leather on both coats is shrunken buffalo hide that's been fully vegetable tanned and fully aniline dyed, and it's beefy stuff at about 3.5 ounces. Buffalo of this pedigree is sometimes referred to as goatskin on steroids, which is a fair characterization. Shrunken buffalo is quite costly because you're paying for the original-size hide that is then shrunken to a smaller size to compact the grain and textile strength, plus you're paying for the process with the resultant need for more leather in the new smaller size to make a coat of the same size you had intended.

Many of the Buzz Rickson's coat designs fit generously, especially those under the Aviation Associates label. I can't say we marketed these coats as being two sizes larger than labeled but we certainly found that one size larger was very much the case, so a size 42 was indeed satisfactorily sold and purchased for chest measures of 44". And I do recall many of our customers for these styles were members here. :eusa_clap

Aviation Associates does offer some great styles every year and these two have been high on our list of faves since the label was introduced. In 2013, we carried a great coat now long gone from the Buzz Rickson's military line, which was a really nice USN transport coat that was fully sheepskin lined (see pic below) and many were sold again to TFL members. :D

And in 2014, we had yet another great jacket made under the AA label, which runs slightly large (I'm wearing a size 38 but my chest is 40"). I'll post a separate thread on this item with fit images, but don't snooze if you like it; we're down to just 1 each in 38-42 and no size 44s are now left.

The 2015 AA jackets have yet to be seen, so maybe something sweet is waiting for us. If so, the likelihood is strong that anything will cost far less this year since the dollar has soared against the yen in the last 8 months.

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This subject now having come up and the obvious appreciation for the Buzz Rickson's civilian styles at hand as demonstrated by purchases from TFL readers and as expressed by members in this thread gave me an idea to run by the TFL. I'm curious to know if you would be interested in working together in creating a Buzz Rickson's jacket design for 2016. While this may seem a long way off, it's actually not in terms of planning and offering it for sale. Here's how things would work:

We'd start right here just seeing if there's interest. If there is, a separate thread would be started to advance the topic and involve as many others as we can enlist. All points of styling would have to be hashed out and agreement reached that covers leather type, sizes to offer, measurements for each size, colors, linings, trim, detailing, and, of course, the design itself and the ballpark price we need to come in at. Assuming we could even come to a consensus on all elements, I would then pitch the jacket to the brand and get their feedback. Our consensus would have to be reached somewhere around Oct. 2015 (sooner is even better), which would then allow Buzz Rickson's to develop it further and source everything that's needed.

The next phase would involve any tweaks and concessions we may need to make to the jacket, after which the design would be approved by those interested and the brand. Depending on if this is made only for us or not, we would potentially then enter into an agreement, which would place us around Jan. 2016; however, if this is not made just for us and will only be our original design but available to the world to purchase, no agreement would be required. Somewhere around the middle of March 2016, we'd see sample jacket(s) and a photo shoot reflecting the fit (any willing to travel could come to see the sample(s) in person), then orders would be taken and deposits would be required within a window of about 7-10 days, after which paid receipts would be sent to all customers.

Depending on the leathers employed, production of some components would commence immediately thereafter, with delivery to HPA anywhere between Sept. - Nov. 2016 (heavier-weight jackets such as sheepskin styles typically are the last to be completed and lighter-weight styles are the first).

Roughly speaking, if the exchange rate between the U. S. dollar and Japanese yen stays at the current level by the time we have a done deal, a jacket styled similarly to the version with fur collar in this thread and made from shrunken buffalo hide would have an approximate retail price of $1, 575.00 with shipping, insurance, customs duty, brokerage fees, and curency-conversion fees from Japan to the USA included, and I could further extend a discount of some nature, so $1, 400.00 would be a fair guess at your cost at this point in time, and the more customers interested in partaking could further impact the price lower.

Canadian customers would pay no duty because your officials assume goods shipping from us are made in the USA, thus no duty applies under NAFTA, though national and provincial taxes may still be charged, which would still be the case even for goods made in Canada.

That's the basic chain of events in simplified form, but the reality is that this is a demanding job of back-and-forth discussion both among us here and between the brand and me. If this has stimulated anyone's interest, you should express it openly here and/or contact me at work, then I'll begin a dedicated thread if this looks as if it has a chance of going anywhere. Your questions and thoughts are sincerely welcomed. Thank you.
 
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tmitchell59

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I recieved the tan coat in cold weather and wore it out quite a few occassions. It is very comfortable with sweaters/vest, but does well with it's own lining in warmer weather. We have a cold spell so I have worn it out. I will probably save back the dark coat for winter, you can bury yourself in the collar.

I began looking more closely at Buzz Rickson items and ignoring the price..now I understand why. With an expectation of the quality in these coats I own I would think the quoted price would be expected.

Can you post some pics of past Aviation company leathers? I would be interested in a project. I would be most interested in seeing what other work they have done in civilian designs.

They have a sense of design and style I like. I would probably being looking at a different leather, a horsehide. I own a lot of vintage leathers, but have nothing vintage to quite compare to the two Buzz Aviators. They are most unique.

How many would it take to do such an order?
 

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I recieved the tan coat in cold weather and wore it out quite a few occassions. It is very comfortable with sweaters/vest, but does well with it's own lining in warmer weather. We have a cold spell so I have worn it out. I will probably save back the dark coat for winter, you can bury yourself in the collar.

I began looking more closely at Buzz Rickson items and ignoring the price..now I understand why. With an expectation of the quality in these coats I own I would think the quoted price would be expected.

Can you post some pics of past Aviation company leathers? I would be interested in a project. I would be most interested in seeing what other work they have done in civilian designs.

They have a sense of design and style I like. I would probably being looking at a different leather, a horsehide. I own a lot of vintage leathers, but have nothing vintage to quite compare to the two Buzz Aviators. They are most unique.

How many would it take to do such an order?

TMitchell, I certainly do sincerely appreciate your enthusiasm and interest. What you see in your two different Buzz Rickson's jackets is indeed their benchmark for quality and fine detailing. I'll assemble some photos and/or scans from the older catalogs of styles Buzz Rickson's produced under the Aviation Associates label and post them here for the purpose of brainstorming design ideas. If we get additional interest from other members, they can begin to contribute suggestions for potential styles. I do agree that, overall, Buzz Rickson's gets vintage design very well, so we may just be tweaking and borrowing bits and pieces from other jackets they've done or that we've seen in vintage photos.

I tend to agree with you that we should do something in horsehide; they have access to beautiful horsehide that's fully vegetable tanned from top Italian tanneries and which displays great grain structure. We can play with the finish of the dye, so semi-matte or matte or a waxed hide all would be on the table. The cost of quality horsehide is about the same as the shrunken buffalo, so the approximation on price I stated previously would still apply.

The quantity depends on if this is exclusively our jacket or if we're sharing it with the world. If this is our own exclusive item, then I think we'd be looking at a minimum of 75 - 100 jackets, which I'd certainly confirm if we get serious about this, but if this is something we just spec. out and then Buzz Rickson's sells it worldwide, a minimum number would only apply to any sizes we ask for which would not be part of their normal offerings. If, for example, we decide we want to have as our largest size a jacket that would fit a 48" chest measure and they were making the style for the world and not just for us, then we might only need to hit a minimum order for 46 & 48, but if the style runs large as the two jackets you have do, I'd say we only need one more size - likely size 46 - which would fit a 48" chest measure. Asking them to make one size as part of their normal production would likely entail 10-15 jackets of that size made from leather (fabric jackets have much higher minimum numbers).

Personally, I'm wide open to what others here may want in a jacket, though I do have a personal desire for a jacket that is the same length of the two you have with an exterior shell made from vegetable-tanned Italian leather (horsehide is fine) in either dark brown or black and an interior lined with 0.5" sheepskin in either some shade of brown or black/dark gray. Anything made of both leather and sheepskin will cost more than the price I stated earlier, but I'd be willing to go the distance for something this special and beautifully made - an heirloom jacket, no doubt - and I'd do as I said and pass some discounting to help others get on board.

Everything rests with how many others care to own any jacket design of this high pedigree we're discussing and made to a consensus spec. we all have the pleasure of knowing we had a say in and helped make happen.
 

handymike

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I've never seen that one Charles. Very nice.
I'm not sure of the origins of the jacket I posted, as I saw it on ebay a while ago. I'd love to see a version in a 27" surcoat length. Not unlike the OP's jacket.
Could even be cool with a shawl collar like the French ones:
StFIBQG.jpg
 
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I've never seen that one Charles. Very nice.
I'm not sure of the origins of the jacket I posted, as I saw it on ebay a while ago. I'd love to see a version in a 27" surcoat length. Not unlike the OP's jacket.
Could even be cool with a shawl collar like the French ones:

Handy Mike, you posted some nice styles and anything is going to be fair game for conversation on this project idea. I agree that 27" on the back length is good depending on the jacket size; the styles you posted would seem to be longer than 27", so we'd have to manipulate them, shortening the length by a few inches.
 

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Ok, so I'll now post a series of images of past styles we've done to present some conceptual foundation and inspiration for the proposed TFL jacket project. This is a style from 2009 we offered ...

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This is from two years ago and was offered in brown and black. The leather was fully vegaetbale-tanned, aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy and was about 3.5 ounces in weight. The belt was removable and the plaid lining was gray on the black version and brown for the brown version. Armpits had metal grommets for ventilation and there was an interior pocket on the left breast with the top trimmed in horsehide to reduce wear at this critical point. Hidden cuffs are a typical feature we like to incorporate in every style, which is great for sealing out the wind and protecting the knit from snagging on objects and being a visible part of the aesthetics. The map pocket on the chest was a great feature, I think, and the entire style really was just a winner in my books.

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This coat is also from two years ago. Again, both brown and black were offered but this brown was more of a russet brown than the previous version; the leather is again vegetable-tanned horsehide from Italy, though this was specified to be closer to 3 ounces in weight. The black version was assembled using brown contrasting thread, but the check linings matched the coats, with gray on the black version and brown on the brown version. Instead of the wool lining extending throughout, the armpits have been lined in rayon acetate for easy entry and removal of the jacket, with the sleeves themselves linked in polished-cotton twill, and of course, hidden knit cuffs at the sleeve ends. Buttons are genuine nut and the collar was sumptuous sheep fleece. The back and front scalloped yoke is a great styling feature of this design. The exterior pockets are lined with heavy-weight , worsted-wool gabardine.

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This is last year's design. Fully vegetable-tanned, fully aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy was employed for the leather in either black or medium-shade russet brown and the leather weight was approximately 3.25 ounces. The black version was assembled with black thread and the brown version was assembled with thread in a lighter, contrasting brown, each with sumptuous sheep-shearling collars in colors close to matching the jacket bodies.

Olive-colored blanketing lined the bodies and sleeves on both colors variants, as well as the backside of the lower flap pockets and leather cuffs. The lower pockets and the hand warmer pockets both have leather reinforcements at each edge in the shape of arrow points; the pocket flaps of the lower packets could be worn tucked into the pocket, thus creating a different look and easy access to the lower pockets. Both hand warmer and lower pockets were lined in a golden-hued, all-cotton moleskin. The sleeves were lined in black rayon acetate on both color options for easy removal and donning of the jackets, and hidden knit cuffs are again featured on this style.

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garzo

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Thank you, HandyMike; that has some really nice detailing. Do you know if it's American in origin? It's clearly very, very close to Eastman's WWI German Aviator Coat and their Brooklands Coat:

https://www.historypreservation.com...cs/brooklands-motoringflying-coat-1900-1940s/

View attachment 29517View attachment 29518

That's very similar in style to the classic U-Boot jacket seen in the film Das Boot, also known as the Doctor Who coat offered by Wested Leather:

http://www.wested.com/dr-who-jacket-20-p.asp
 

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This project's focus isn't meant to be limited to longer-length jacket designs, so we can offer shorter styles or we can develop one of each type. This is a style we offered 2 1/2 years ago that reached about the middle hip and which was offered in either black or deep brown. Fully vegetable-tanned, fully aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy was employed for the leather in either black or brown and the leather weight was approximately 3.5 ounces. Olive-colored blanketing lined the bodies, sleeves, cuff backs and pocket flap backs on both colors variants; the outside pockets were lined in all-cotton moleskin in a golden color.

Interesting design features include the tab closure on the collar, scalloped yoke on front and back, half-belt on back with adjusting waist belts with nickel-plated buckles, one interior pocket on the left breast with the top trimmed in horsehide to reduce wear at this critical point, and lacqured-metal ventilation grommets under the armpits.

This style was immensely popular, finding a place in many wardrobes.

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This is a shorter, half-belt design from 2 years ago. Fully vegetable-tanned, fully aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy was employed for the leather in black, weighing approximately 3.25 ounces. Dark blue-colored, heavy-weight flannel lined the body, but the sleeves were lined in black rayon acetate with knit cuffs hidden up inside; there was also one interior pocket on the left breast with the top trimmed in horsehide to reduce wear at this critical point. The outside pockets were lined in a wide-wale corduroy in a pale buttery color. The hardware was dull brass, with buckle adjustments on the waist belts, main zipper (a vintage-style Hookless design with riveted base), and pocket zipper with beaded ball chain.

I am personally fond of the absence of a cuff with buttons and this solid-piece design with pointed trim detail on the sleeve ends; this is something that can be found on vintage designs that isn't always available today.

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This style is from 2013. Fully vegetable-tanned, fully aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy was employed for the leather in black and the leather weight was approximately 3.5 ounces. Black-colored corduroy lined the body, sleeves, cuff backs and adjustment tabs at the waist back; the outside pockets were lined in heavy-weight, worsted-wool gabardine in gray.

Interesting design features include the adjusting tabs at waist back, one interior pocket on the left breast with the top trimmed in horsehide to reduce wear at this critical point, lacqured-metal ventilation grommets under the armpits, and especially the slit pockets on the exterior with the stacked pocket arrangement on the right side.
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This is a 2014 style. Fully vegetable-tanned, fully aniline-dyed horsehide imported from Italy was employed for the leather in black and the leather weight was approximately 3.5 ounces. Olive-colored blanketing lined the body, sleeves, and cuff backs.

Interesting design features include the adjusting tabs at waist back, one interior pocket on the left breast with the top trimmed in horsehide to reduce wear at this critical point, lacqured-metal ventilation grommets under the armpits, and especially the slit pockets on the exterior that includes hand-warmer pockets. The lower pockets are lined with heavy-weight cotton duck cloth and the hand-0warmer pockets are lined in a pale, buttery-shade of wide-wale corduroy. Once agin, as with just about all the styles we offer, this model features hidden cuffs up inside the sleeves.

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And you've quite likely seen what I think is one of the most innovative jackets Buzz Rickson's has offered under the Aviation Associates label to date, which is this vintage classic made from vegetable-tanned nubuck horsehide we brought in in the late fall of 2014:

https://www.historypreservation.com...vintage-style-flying-jacket-nubuck-horsehide/

I hope these jackets of past designs can lend some additional inspiration for my proposed jacket project you've been invited to partake in. Let's hear your thoughts, gents.

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That's very similar in style to the classic U-Boot jacket seen in the film Das Boot, also known as the Doctor Who coat offered by Wested Leather:

http://www.wested.com/dr-who-jacket-20-p.asp

Yes, indeed it is extremely similar to the Dr. Who coat - thanks for that interesting tidbit. I'm familiar with those U-Boat coats I think you're speaking of - 3/4 length and light gray in color. I believe the ones used in "Das Boot" were produced by Michael Janke in Germany, or I can say that Janke at least made that style at least back in the late 1980s.
 
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