The black leather jacket is an all time classic fashion accessory. Almost everyone owns one at some point in their life. The first time you put one on, there is something about that worn, leather sheen with rough, dangerous zippers that automatically transforms you into a bad ass. The rebellious roots may have reached back to fighter pilots in the first world war (who, by the way had a life expectancy of only a few weeks), but they’ve since managed to survive from one generation to the next. A rare feat, when it comes to the fickleness of fashion.
It’s become a time honoured tradition in subcultures on a near universal level. Marlon Brando certainly had a hand in popularizing it in celluloid form in the 1953 film The Wild One which probably helped inspire bikers, drifters, criminals, outcasts and the just plain seedy bums that small time sheriffs still try to kick out of small towns today. But no one really quite wore them like the original punk rockers from the 70s. There was an establishment to overthrow. People to provoke. Stuff to resist. There was a bold and burgeoning collective identity through the conduit of music and often represented in visual form by you guessed it: the black leather jacket.
The backs of the jackets were where you stated how you felt and made it crystal clear which team you played for. I guess the modern equivalent is the “what is your life motto” field on Facebook.
Original Post, Pictures & Credits via Flashbak.