Bikers & Leather Jackets Story

The origins of the leather motorcycle jacket can be traced back to the 
times of World War I when it was worn by soldiers and pilots during 
combat operations. Generally associated with thrill-seeking pursuits, 
the early motorcycle leather jacket sported a commonly used goatskin 
style with most of them resembling the A-1 Bomber Jacket used by the 
Army Air Corp. All of these were military or aviator style jackets with 
a button front coat style and a mandarin style collar. The abundance of 
horses during the world war era popularised another version of leather 
jackets made from horse hides.
        The widespread popularity of the leather jacket in the world war 
era notwithstanding, its attainment of cult status can be attributed to 
Hollywood. Remember Marlon Brando from the 1953 movie Wild One? The 
scenes depicting him riding a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird 6T with a 
suave-looking leather jacket really stuck in the minds of the people 
back then. It appealed to the adventure-seeking enthusiasts who were 
fascinated by the idea of a measured show of aggression, that had 
erstwhile been invested in the business of war making. For many 
war-ridden nations, Hollywood symbolised hope and the promise of a new 
future for mankind bereft of war. Hollywood had a tremendous effect on 
the psyche of individuals. The celebrities, their associated styles and 
the accessories they used (leather jackets included) became fashion 
symbols, and everybody was keen to ape it.
        Figuratively speaking, there were definite junctures in Hollywood 
history when the leather jacket suddenly shot into prominence. In the 
aforementioned case of the movie Wild One, the novelty factor did play a 
big role; the character that Marlon Brando personified, that of, Johnny 
Scrabbler's (a delinquent gang leader wearing a leather jacket) was not 
something people were accustomed to seeing.
        The next major milestone in the leather jacket's sojourn through 
Hollywood was the James Dean movie "Rebel without a Cause" based on a 
similar gang-war theme. The subsequent death of James Dean in an 
accident fuelled even greater interest in the movie, and all things 
associated with it (leather jacket included) became synonymous with 
danger and rebellion.
        The leather jacket evolved to the rocker jacket, and became the 
jacket of choice for rockers and greasers in the 1950s and 60s. There 
on, it continued to be used by metalheads, punk rockers, hipsters, etc. 
In general, it became the attire of choice for anyone wild by nature.
        Nowadays, wearing a leather jacket is considered to be 
fashionable and stylish. The motorcycle leather jackets tend to be 
thicker than the normal ones and come with a lot of extra padding to 
protect riders from injury. Style apart, the motorcycle leather jacket 
also doubles up as a protective gear, making it a versatile accessory in 
today's times.