After Denim Jeans, here is a new episode of innovation born from chance crossing paths with utility. Another case of serendipity - tarte Tatin, as you well know - coming from America.
The Perfecto leather jacket borrows all the codes of this rule which obeys precisely no rule.
At the beginning of the last century, the Schott brothers ran a leather clothing store in New York. Sons of Russian immigrants, there is no doubt that resilience and dreams of a bright future rocked their nights, and their days too. In fact, during the day, one of the Schott brothers, Irving, had two passions, cigars and motorcycles. One does not necessarily lead to the other. Groucho Marx or Winston Churchill, unrepentant cigar smokers, were not bikers, as far as we know. On the other hand, our Irving liked to hang out, cigar in mouth, at the local Harley-Davidson dealership. It didn't take much more for, around 1920, the idea of making a leather jacket for the tough guys on the bike emerged among the two friends, so that they would be prepared to face the brisk air and some times familiar with the bitumen. The Harley dealer placed a massive order, beginning the success of the Schott siblings. Irving thus designed a garment with functionalities that are reminiscent of the way in which jeans and peacoats were also designed to protect as well as clothe.
Made from horse leather, the most durable.
Very fitted, so as not to float or swell like a balloon with the speed in the wind.
An integrated leather belt with buckle to ensure the fit.
A wide collar, the tips of which are fitted with press studs so as not to flap in the wind and slap the intrepid.
Closure with oblique zip offset to the right, forming a double thickness of leather, so that the bib is more waterproof. Sleeves tightened at the wrists thanks to a leather strap, bikers claiming since the advent of the motorcycle that their obsession is to fear any trickle of cold air via the cuffs and collar... they have so many things to fear once launched ! Zipped pockets including a small one on the right to quickly draw out change at toll booths...
The Schotts did not stop at this first success, they designed and produced Bombers for airplane pilots, and contributed to the production of pea coats for the US Navy. We even learn that they launched parkas stuffed with goose feathers. They were not resting on their laurels, this is rarely the case among bulimic entrepreneurs.
The specifications of this leather jacket, indisputably functional and full of virtues, did not, however, resist sociology and the infamous amalgams.
“1953, Marlon Brando rocks in The Wild Horde, followed in 55 by James Dean in The Fury of Living. »
Two markers in the history of cinema which would influence the rebels of time that comes and passes. In the 70s, our jumping Wild Cats sang Twist in Saint Tropez. It was more joyful than the Hells Angels strapped into their jackets who have on their conscience the murder of a spectator at the Stones concert in Altamont… but do they have a conscience? Along came the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and others, who added chains and studs to their black leather imitation armor in case no one understood their chants of “fuck the system” and “no future”. High point around 80, with Schwarzenegger in Terminator with shoulder pads on steroids and his “Hasta la vista Baby!” "...Irving Schott's jacket deserved something other than becoming an emblem of music hall and cinema bad boys, because the Perfecto's reputation had become bad. It was even reported that colleges on the posh East Coast had formally banned students from wearing it.
Fortunately, a new generation, in love with diversity and colors, began to rehabilitate this garment, made for wide open spaces, not for dividing lines.
In this case we can always count on Yves Saint-Laurent to blow the beautiful wind of femininity.
His collections of leather jackets became iconic, on the pretty shoulders of Cindy, Linda, Naomi, Kate, Claudia… why not us! H&M, Mango, Zara, Zadig & Voltaire (…) did not hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and that was good.
Ah! I almost forgot something important. The Schott house, as a wise entrepreneur, did not fail to register its brand and the name of its jacket. Irving called it "Perfecto", after the Cuban cigars he smoked in series. Only the Schott brand has the right to exploit "Perfecto", which it always does with constancy and pride. Despite all the protections that Intellectual Property owes to a brand name, it cannot do much against the language of the street which always insists on appropriating the obvious. Perfecto will have experienced the same fate as its renowned colleagues, Frigidaire, Escalator, Botox, Mobylette, Santiago… who entered our daily lexicon, pulling the rug out from under the feet of intellectual property. We will object to the legitimate defenders of these names that they can do nothing against fridge, mob or cowboy boots, the ultimate consecration of these misappropriations! Same for our Perfecto, which has become a “perf”.
And then, we in turn added a Perf to our collections, we really wanted it, we like to reinterpret the men's wardrobe, you know that. We wanted our Perf to be “perfecto”, more in the ideal sense than perfect, in good Spanish. The ideal is a promise, perfection is not of this world.
The times have changed ; the new Perfectos must stand out from any sterile rebellion and side with eco-responsibility. This is the new ideal. Faithful to our credo, zero waste, the skins of our Perf come from unused stocks of a large French House (Chanel, not to name it) after having verified that the animals were originally dead, not slaughtered on purpose. and that the skin treatment process complied with all current standards. In addition, it was entirely produced in Paris, its design, its canvas, its patterning, its manufacturing, all delivered to our door just-in-time. It was made by my friend Alain in his Parisian workshops, whom I have known for over 10 years, and for whom I have the greatest respect. We are proud that our beloved Irving has already won over many of you. Find it quickly, it is available again in our Limited Editions !
Take care of yourself, always.