Words by Oliver Abbott

Leather jackets have always been the embodiment of the word “cool”. Never has a garment ever allowed itself to be used, abused and taken in by such a varied patronage that ranges from the upright tiers to the downright anarchic of society throughout the ages.  Aviators, Punks, Fighter Pilots, Rockabilly’s, Mod’s, greasers…right up to the point where even imitation leather is produced for a cheaper or more ethically minded wearer.

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The golden age of the leather jacket, losing it shackles and becoming a de facto style icon was the 1930’s and 1950’s. From the average Joe in depression era America, to the Norton riding Ton Up boys in the 50’s, the leather jacket firmly nailed itself into the hallowed book of style.

With this in mind we have sourced a mind boggling collection of “pure” vintage leather jackets, dating from the 1930’s right up to the 70’s. specially handpicked and curated by our vintage Americana Archivist. Each piece has also undergone museum quality grain reconditioning, adding more years to their already eventful lives.

Rokit are hugely excited to be able to offer this choice selection that defines these decades. We have a cross section of styles, designs and conditions- because (as we all know) sometimes the best leather jacket is the most beat up leather jacket.  

Below are three of the best styles!!!!

Sports and Recreation

1940’s leather jackets were often in the “sportswear” bracket, “ the term sportswear though doesn’t mean that these would be your go to for playing a few hoops or running to 3rd base, simply that these were perceived as a leisure, downtime item of casual wear. They are often belted, mid to short length and zip front.  

Pic credit: Disfarmer Portraits by Mike Disfarmer @ Americansuburbx.com // Vintage 40s Horsehide Sports Leather Jacket.

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Look to the Sky

Civilian versions of WW2 jackets are very common from this period and ontinued into the 1950’s and beyond, models like the USAAF A2 or the USN G1 being the most popular. Another popular version of the flying jacket are the fur collared aviator jackets, these resembled the WW1 versions and were worn by amateur pilots and even as a driving coat from the 1920’s onwards.

Katherine Stinson, the first aviatrix to deliver the mail, circa 1918. Credit: dieselpunkflimflam @ Tumblr.com
Katherine Stinson, the first aviatrix to deliver the mail, circa 1918. Credit: dieselpunkflimflam @ Tumblr.com // 40s Vintage Brown Boutique Leather Flight Jacket.

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Big, Bad and biking

The iconic motorcycle jacket was first conceived in 1928  by Irving Schott, of the famed stalwarts of leather Schott NYC. It was named the Perfecto after his favourite cigar and became the benchmark to which all followed. It wasn’t until the 1950’s though that it started to be manufactured more frequently in black than it’s previous brown hide and instantly gained popularity. The real turning point though was in 1953 when it was worn and, in turn, immortalised by Marlon Brando in the film The Wild One.  Since then it has been worn by greasers, ton up boys, punks and metalheads.

Johnny Strabler played by Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953)
Johnny Strabler played by Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953). Credit: Wallpaper.com // Rare 1950’s British Sportswear Motorcycle Jacket.

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