The classic, black leather motorcycle jacket dates to 1928, a product of Schott N.Y.C., the first clothing company to equip its jackets with zippers. The Perfecto, as it was called, retailed for $5.50. A Detroit motorcycle accessories manufacturer named Joseph Buegeleisen introduced its motorcycle jackets in the 1940s, as did Harley-Davidson (the Cycle Champ was for men, the Cycle Queen for women) and Indian (its jackets were named the Ranger and Rangerette). Other jacket manufacturers included Beck, Buco, and Hercules, but Schott was the king, especially after Marlin Brando wore a Perfecto in the 1953 film “The Wild One.”

By the end of the 1960s, another type of leather jacket became associated with motorcyclists, also because of a film. That would be the leather fringe jacket, which featured tassels on the sleeves, chest stitching, and pocket flaps, worn by Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider.”


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