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Vegecow Lewis Leathers quality

Tom71

One Too Many
Messages
1,369
Location
Europe
Definitely not a large company, i went to the store regularly when i lived in London, the place is small, they usually have two people there.
Back when i ordered my LL in 2013 they had two people working the store, and two guys making the jackets in a separate workshop and Derek, for a total of 5 working there. Back then my custom Dominator cost 475GBP!
I'm sure the company has expanded since then, but it is definitely not a large business.
It is much smaller than Aero for example and that's already considered a small familly business.

Personally i never had a great experience with Derek the boss, i found him a bit dismissive, i got on much better with his right hand man, whom i unfortunately can't remember the name. (bald guy who was always at the store)

It´s now "Jack" at the store (youngish guy, guitar player; I believe he does some modelling for LL´s Insta), and I found him extremely forthcoming on all questions I had both in person and via the phone (E-Mail has always been Rip and Aki, though).
 

7amza

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Most companies have been increasing their prices consistantly.
My first LL in 2013 was 475GBP, i ordred one for my GF in 2015 that cost 575GBP, they are now around 940GBP.
My ELMC Californian was 850 GBP in 2015 (includong Long size fee) it is now 1199GBP (without Long size fee).
My first Lost Worlds was 1450$ base price in early 2020, it is now 2150$.
Aero is one of the companies that increased the least, my Bootlegggers where 640GBP in 2016 and they now go for 715 GBP

Like most things, the right time to get into leather jackets was 10 years ago...
A bit off topic but I have been considering getting a lost worlds J23 jacket but 2150 USD is indeed a steep price (Could almost get a Veg Cow LL and Sheep LL for the same price). I know LW is revered as one of the top leather jacket makers but, in your opinion is the new price still justified or is it better off saving it for a couple new jackets from different makers?

(I know for some people, if they like the jacket then the price is justified)
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,577
Location
London
A bit off topic but I have been considering getting a lost worlds J23 jacket but 2150 USD is indeed a steep price (Could almost get a Veg Cow LL and Sheep LL for the same price). I know LW is revered as one of the top leather jacket makers but, in your opinion is the new price still justified or is it better off saving it for a couple new jackets from different makers?

(I know for some people, if they like the jacket then the price is justified)

Without a doubt it is worth it.
I said my first LW was 1650$ base price, that's not actually what i spent, if you add up the extra fees (Long size, Crown zippers and belt) that jacket was 2740$, it was the first LW i bought, the most expensive jacket i had ever ordered and it is still one of my best/favourite jackets in my collection.

If i had to order that exact jacket nowadays it would cost 3360$ which is crazy expensive even for a crazy LW fan like me.

I guess what i am trying to say is that i would still order a LW new at the current prices but i would not go crazy with options.
If are happy with stock zippers and don't need the long size (+20%) than it is definitely worth 2150$
If you need the extra length, and want to get fancy zippers etc it becomes harder to justifie the high (3000+) price.

Saying that i still find it is "worth it" to me, i still have new jacket projects in the works with Stuart, i shed a tear everytime i transfer him money for a jacket, but they are still IMO the best jackets currently being made.

If you know of another maker than can do the same thing LW does for half the price i would love to have a chat with him...
 

7amza

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Without a doubt it is worth it.
I said my first LW was 1650$ base price, that's not actually what i spent, if you add up the extra fees (Long size, Crown zippers and belt) that jacket was 2740$, it was the first LW i bought, the most expensive jacket i had ever ordered and it is still one of my best/favourite jackets in my collection.

If i had to order that exact jacket nowadays it would cost 3360$ which is crazy expensive even for a crazy LW fan like me.

I guess what i am trying to say is that i would still order a LW new at the current prices but i would not go crazy with options.
If are happy with stock zippers and don't need the long size (+20%) than it is definitely worth 2150$
If you need the extra length, and want to get fancy zippers etc it becomes harder to justifie the high (3000+) price.

Saying that i still find it is "worth it" to me, i still have new jacket projects in the works with Stuart, i shed a tear everytime i transfer him money for a jacket, but they are still IMO the best jackets currently being made.

If you know of another maker than can do the same thing LW does for half the price i would love to have a chat with him...
Thanks for the feedback, that helps a lot with my decision. I think LW will be the next maker I order from :)

ps: let me know if you have any recommendations on the different leathers they use and which to go for if I would want a leather that breaks in and patinas nicely whilst still being substantial and midweight. (I have heard that LW are known for never looking broken in)
 

Will Zach

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,449
Location
Northeast USA
^^
You can also try the pre-owned LW market, including here. Preowned LW jackets can be often had at extremely reasonable prices compared to new, and considering they are built like tanks, they often look and feel like new.

 
Last edited:

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,577
Location
London
Thanks for the feedback, that helps a lot with my decision. I think LW will be the next maker I order from :)

ps: let me know if you have any recommendations on the different leathers they use and which to go for if I would want a leather that breaks in and patinas nicely whilst still being substantial and midweight. (I have heard that LW are known for never looking broken in)

As Will said above, the used market is definitely worth considering, i have bought more used LW than new ones.

The whole "LW never break in" is BS, that was written by peopl who never wore their jackets. Saying that, be aware that LW leather won't "patina", the leather is chromed tanned, with a thick waterproof finish that won't really change much with wear. LW leather is about grain, not about patina.

They don't really have different leathers, it's all horse hide in different colours and thickness and sometimes deerskin.
It's really all about their Horse Hide.

This is the most "broken in" LW i have ever seen, it was apparently worn on the bike daily for two years, it is the owners only riding jacket.
This is the best you can hope for from that leather, no patina...

QVvGIUW.jpg

jElhNHw.jpg


Here is the back panel of one of my favourite ones, still working on that one:

nteRoj7.jpg


If you have questions don't hesitate to PM me so we don't derail this thread too much (sorry for the derail...)
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
As Will said above, the used market is definitely worth considering, i have bought more used LW than new ones.

The whole "LW never break in" is BS, that was written by peopl who never wore their jackets. Saying that, be aware that LW leather won't "patina", the leather is chromed tanned, with a thick waterproof finish that won't really change much with wear. LW leather is about grain, not about patina.

They don't really have different leathers, it's all horse hide in different colours and thickness and sometimes deerskin.
It's really all about their Horse Hide.

This is the most "broken in" LW i have ever seen, it was apparently worn on the bike daily for two years, it is the owners only riding jacket.
This is the best you can hope for from that leather, no patina...

QVvGIUW.jpg

jElhNHw.jpg


Here is the back panel of one of my favourite ones, still working on that one:

nteRoj7.jpg


If you have questions don't hesitate to PM me so we don't derail this thread too much (sorry for the derail...)
Wow definitely better with age. I have a feeling that LW is one of the brands that our great grandchildren will be collecting while wondering how they have held up so well after 5 or 6 decades
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
For those with more historical knowledge, what was the era that Lewis Leathers took a dive in quality?
Just curious if anyone rides in one today?
Obviously there are better choices armor, Kevlar etc but I was just curious about things we can’t see like seam quality.

I was doing some reading about cotton thread after Carlos made an observation I had missed on a Buco jacket posted that had some busted stitching. Then I got into the rabbit hole on thread and it seems generally that the best thread is a waxed polyester which leads me to wonder why some makers (not Lewis) brag so heavily about using cotton thread, I get the historical thing but when it comes to things that are not immediately noticeable, I do wonder why some would use weaker thread.

One good thing I noticed is that Lewis seems to hold it value marginally better on the used market when some other great jackets drop like new car off the lot.

Here is a Lewis not too old but probably from that era where they started to go down the path of Belstaff
 

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Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,625
For those with more historical knowledge, what was the era that Lewis Leathers took a dive in quality?
Imo it started somewhere in the mid / late 70s. Here's two Phantoms. Red lining is mid 70s, navy blue lining early 80s. Construction quality is comparable but the leather and lining on the 80s one looks and feels much cheaper.

ADFDAF3A-2A0E-4FE6-ABFB-C7747A971514.jpeg
5EB26FAE-9ACA-47F8-B096-B47A3F949791.jpeg
EC708ADB-D14D-4BF2-8D6A-6FA1142264BB.jpeg



But that doesn't mean you can't find a well constructed nice leather 80s Lewis leathers. Check out this 80s gt Monza. Beautiful leather, better quality of construction then some of the mid/late 70s jackets:


Imo the biggest problem in the 80s were the weird and sometimes even ugly designs.

which leads me to wonder why some makers (not Lewis) brag so heavily about using cotton thread, I get the historical thing but when it comes to things that are not immediately noticeable, I do wonder why some would use weaker thread.
Some makers = Himel, right? Imo using cotton thread is nothing more than a gimmick. It's weaker than nylon and eventually it will rot (Although that will take decades). Here's a jacket from the 60s With rotten seams (cotton thread):

79166214-7481-4425-9D7E-6D87DBF87A13.jpeg
5CF7260F-487A-40A3-9B83-C24696B57789.jpeg
62AF34C3-81D4-4997-B9BF-BF8B5FD6D18E.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Salmosalar

One of the Regulars
Messages
283
Imo it started somewhere in the mid / late 70s. Here's two Phantoms. Red lining is mid 70s, navy blue lining early 80s. Construction quality is comparable but the leather and lining on the 80s one looks and feels much cheaper.

View attachment 425502View attachment 425503View attachment 425504


But that doesn't mean you can't find a well constructed nice leather 80s Lewis leathers. Check out this 80s gt Monza. Beautiful leather, better quality of construction then some of the mid/late 70s jackets:


Imo the biggest problem in the 80s was the weird and sometimes even ugly designs.


Some makers = Himel, right? Imo using cotton thread is nothing more than a gimmick. It's weaker than nylon and eventually it will rot (Although that will take decades). Here's a jacket from the 60s With rotten seams (cotton thread):

View attachment 425505View attachment 425506View attachment 425507
I would agree with Marc - it seems that up to mid 70s at least the quality was generally high and consistent - after that it became much more patchy. On the issue of thread, I have not seen any busted seams from rotten cotton on any LL jackets, but maybe others have a different experience? I have a heavily used Roadmaster Mk1 and a Monza (precursor to the Super Monza) from the early 70s and although the leather is really broken in now, with pretty extreme graining, the seams are all still fine.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
Imo it started somewhere in the mid / late 70s. Here's two Phantoms. Red lining is mid 70s, navy blue lining early 80s. Construction quality is comparable but the leather and lining on the 80s one looks and feels much cheaper.

View attachment 425502View attachment 425503View attachment 425504


But that doesn't mean you can't find a well constructed nice leather 80s Lewis leathers. Check out this 80s gt Monza. Beautiful leather, better quality of construction then some of the mid/late 70s jackets:


Imo the biggest problem in the 80s were the weird and sometimes even ugly designs.


Some makers = Himel, right? Imo using cotton thread is nothing more than a gimmick. It's weaker than nylon and eventually it will rot (Although that will take decades). Here's a jacket from the 60s With rotten seams (cotton thread):

View attachment 425505View attachment 425506View attachment 425507
I was watching a YouTube video in which a young guy had been through quite a few LL jackets since his teenage years, better taste than I had back then. He now has that same Phantom and it does has a serious 80’s look, though in good condition it has that 80’s plastic looking leather different from today.

Yes you guessed it with the cotton thread it was from watching his videos. I know I’m not the only one that is guilty of over conditioning leather, so I’d be the first one to rot the thread.

Interesting the gold On the patch is still intact. I would figure that would fade quickly but it’s going strong.
 

MrProper

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,363
Location
Europe
I honestly don't care at all whether it's cotton or polyester. The quality should fit. And whether the thread lasts 40 or 60 years is irrelevant to me. I may not even have the things anymore, or I may not like them anymore, or I may have them repaired.
Not necessary that I make myself today a head about it.

I have jeans that are over 20 years old and the threads are flawless, but I don't wear them anymore because I don't like them. I have things made of plastic that become sticky or lose their elasticity after 12 years, so I don't use them anymore.
Subjectively, with many things I would say Natural 1 : 0 Artificial.
And with many other things it's the other way around.

You just take the best of both worlds and that's it.
 

Carlos840

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,577
Location
London
For those with more historical knowledge, what was the era that Lewis Leathers took a dive in quality?
Just curious if anyone rides in one today?
Obviously there are better choices armor, Kevlar etc but I was just curious about things we can’t see like seam quality.

I was doing some reading about cotton thread after Carlos made an observation I had missed on a Buco jacket posted that had some busted stitching. Then I got into the rabbit hole on thread and it seems generally that the best thread is a waxed polyester which leads me to wonder why some makers (not Lewis) brag so heavily about using cotton thread, I get the historical thing but when it comes to things that are not immediately noticeable, I do wonder why some would use weaker thread.

One good thing I noticed is that Lewis seems to hold it value marginally better on the used market when some other great jackets drop like new car off the lot.

Here is a Lewis not too old but probably from that era where they started to go down the path of Belstaff

I have two modern lewis leathers, a Dominator in cow and a Racer Mk2 in horse and i have to say i don't really use them for riding.
They both lack a a windflap, causing them to baloon in the back above 60mph.
I also don't really trust them, the stitching isn't bad but the leather seems very thin for a riding jacket.
The few times i have ridden in them didn't make me feel protected like i do when wearing a Vanson, LW or Langlitz.
To me they are fashion jackets, not riding jackets.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
Wish me luck gentlemen. I will call Lewis Leathers tomorrow if I have a chance during business hours due to the time difference.

After 3 unanswered emails this is my only chance and I really want a Lewis Leather jacket and do not want to let customer service issues to stop me from getting one.

There might be more going on than we are aware of and they could be very well doing the best they can.

Lastly I’m trying to go about this tactically because I do not want to get anyone in trouble, so I certainly don’t want to speak negative of AKI.
 

7amza

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Just got some good news - one of my LL orders has shipped yesterday. (Star Lightning in Rutland Sheep) Delivery is meant to be for Friday 20th.

Although this time around I did have to pay 80 bucks import duty, which I didn't pay when receiving my first LL jacket in 2020.

Also - RIP had sent me an email letting me know my jacket was shipped the first time around, this time, I had no idea my jacket was shipped yesterday until I got a notification to pay the aforementioned import duty today.
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
Well no such luck with Lewis, as much as I wanted that classic heritage it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I wanted it so much that I even accepted that I couldn’t remove that branding patch which I usually hate.

Hopefully everyone else has better luck than me, they pump out jackets everyday so maybe I just was unlucky or they didn’t like my measurements but either way the search continues.

I really wanted a new jacket before this winter season. I thought about trying Aero through Thuston Bros but their no return policy, only exchanging is a deal breaker and I’ve seen an equal amount of people that either love or hate their new Aero Board Racer or Cafe Racer. Thedi crossed my mind but being that I want a racer, I hate the side panel design and the collar looks funny to me.


I contacted Himel through the website about their less expensive Pinecrest model which is pushing the outer limits of my budget, I’d rather have a Kensington but that would be $1,100 more than the Lewis. Hopefully he will respond.

I contacted Simmons Built because it seems like I could get a Shinki or Blatwerk J100 for about $600 less than the Lewis.

Andy from Bill Kelso was really professional and friendly about a week ago when I inquired about building a HD Sportster Racer (Harley’s on his site) I believe it would be his first and based on the vintage he has in his collection. I think after my failure jackets I could provide measurements, I just want the back to turn out right, every picture, the wearer has a great taper without being tight.

There just really are not that many options for for a simple racer design. I even thought about Addict leather but I just can’t do those upside down pockets on their racer. They had a really cool collaboration with Butterscotch out of California which was a cross zip with mandarin collar but I don’t think it’s available, only a few are advertised as built to order. Pricing is really good for what appears to be great construction.
 

7amza

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Well no such luck with Lewis, as much as I wanted that classic heritage it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I wanted it so much that I even accepted that I couldn’t remove that branding patch which I usually hate.

Hopefully everyone else has better luck than me, they pump out jackets everyday so maybe I just was unlucky or they didn’t like my measurements but either way the search continues.

I really wanted a new jacket before this winter season. I thought about trying Aero through Thuston Bros but their no return policy, only exchanging is a deal breaker and I’ve seen an equal amount of people that either love or hate their new Aero Board Racer or Cafe Racer. Thedi crossed my mind but being that I want a racer, I hate the side panel design and the collar looks funny to me.


I contacted Himel through the website about their less expensive Pinecrest model which is pushing the outer limits of my budget, I’d rather have a Kensington but that would be $1,100 more than the Lewis. Hopefully he will respond.

I contacted Simmons Built because it seems like I could get a Shinki or Blatwerk J100 for about $600 less than the Lewis.

Andy from Bill Kelso was really professional and friendly about a week ago when I inquired about building a HD Sportster Racer (Harley’s on his site) I believe it would be his first and based on the vintage he has in his collection. I think after my failure jackets I could provide measurements, I just want the back to turn out right, every picture, the wearer has a great taper without being tight.

There just really are not that many options for for a simple racer design. I even thought about Addict leather but I just can’t do those upside down pockets on their racer. They had a really cool collaboration with Butterscotch out of California which was a cross zip with mandarin collar but I don’t think it’s available, only a few are advertised as built to order. Pricing is really good for what appears to be great construction.
what happened when you called LL?
 

Damon141

A-List Customer
Messages
403
I couldn’t get through after calling 2 times, that combined with the 4 unanswered emails I just gave up. I really wanted my Veg Cow as it looked amazing, but I did feel like I was compromising on the construction a but, stitching looked no better than a Schott but I liked the style, heritage, and leather so I was willing to overlook that.
In the end I just don’t have the patience for poor correspondence, waiting for construction of the jacket is fine, 3 months, 6 months no big deal, but they need someone working there like Carrie? At thurston-bros. So polite and on top of things.

I feel like I was purposely overlooked because when I contacted them through the web form they replied 2 hours later apologizing, then the next day (with the wrong measurements). Only then after explaining my corrections, asking about the sizing chart that everyone received, and asking questions on which base size I should start with, that’s when they stopped responding.
 

Canuck Panda

One Too Many
Messages
1,573
Well no such luck with Lewis, as much as I wanted that classic heritage it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I wanted it so much that I even accepted that I couldn’t remove that branding patch which I usually hate.

Hopefully everyone else has better luck than me, they pump out jackets everyday so maybe I just was unlucky or they didn’t like my measurements but either way the search continues.

I really wanted a new jacket before this winter season. I thought about trying Aero through Thuston Bros but their no return policy, only exchanging is a deal breaker and I’ve seen an equal amount of people that either love or hate their new Aero Board Racer or Cafe Racer. Thedi crossed my mind but being that I want a racer, I hate the side panel design and the collar looks funny to me.


I contacted Himel through the website about their less expensive Pinecrest model which is pushing the outer limits of my budget, I’d rather have a Kensington but that would be $1,100 more than the Lewis. Hopefully he will respond.

I contacted Simmons Built because it seems like I could get a Shinki or Blatwerk J100 for about $600 less than the Lewis.

Andy from Bill Kelso was really professional and friendly about a week ago when I inquired about building a HD Sportster Racer (Harley’s on his site) I believe it would be his first and based on the vintage he has in his collection. I think after my failure jackets I could provide measurements, I just want the back to turn out right, every picture, the wearer has a great taper without being tight.

There just really are not that many options for for a simple racer design. I even thought about Addict leather but I just can’t do those upside down pockets on their racer. They had a really cool collaboration with Butterscotch out of California which was a cross zip with mandarin collar but I don’t think it’s available, only a few are advertised as built to order. Pricing is really good for what appears to be great construction.
Honestly I believe this is a blessing in disguise. Not settling is not a bad thing.
Lewis makes great jackets but there are many others who do too.
Aero/SB will give you a lot of value but not refinement like your Himel.
BK offers Shinki now but I don’t have one yet to see how well they’re put together.
I don’t know about Addict but it seems FW and RMC are the two go to brands for the top tier stuff.
I know I’m not much help with these info, but just keep plugging at it, you’ll find what you’re after. Enjoy along the way!
 

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