Thursday, April 7, 2011

Leather Jackets: Authenticity, Heritage and Google

 I have not rambled in a while.  But lately I have found myself perplexed and confused about vintage, heritage and authenticity.  It is of course compounded by the added burden of spending my life savings trying to recreate authentic and perfect leather jackets with my new Himel Brothers brand.  I try very hard not to be critical of other clothing designers.  I always encourage beautiful clothing but of late there is a disturbing blurring of the lines between vintage brands, heritage brands and crappy knockoff branding cashing in on the craze.  Simultaneously, google seems to have been co-opted with its ranking and more and more brands are camping on the vintage leather jacket search while selling really crappy stuff. 

 I am really confused.  Why is Levis producing a Buco jacket?  And why does it have the worst thinest material, bad cut and fake zippers mocking the very beauty of an original Buco.  Surly nobody who knows what a Buco is wants that?  Why are they not focusing on their own heritage?  This is layer apon layer of weird.  If you google horsehide, vintage leather jacket or Buco 65 percent of the search results are cheap knock offs, junk overseas leather manufacturers and people camping on the words.  Google is either not paying attention or does not care.  Heck what is heritage or made locally really mean.

Seems like everybody who can buy a Free and Easy magazine is going to work for clothing brands that can add a chin strap to a shirt design and pump one out in China for 2 bucks.  It is very sad.  I really would like to see designers that focus on what they are good at and respect the past or try something new.
 Knocking off the past in China as cheaply as possible isn't helping fashion, and isn't helping style.  Im a snob...if I pay 1800 dollars for a jacket it better have cost at least 500 in materials  and labour to build and it better be beautiful and indestructible.  Why is google raising people in the search rankings that are not what they appear...and why do 90 percent of the comments that come into my blog  now contain links to Pakistani leather manufacturers?  Really lets get some sense out there before I have a melt down.. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Junos, Rockstars and Leather Jackets: Questions of Style

Ok so there is a trend going on in the music world.  One might say the world of the rockstar has always been saturated with the leather jacket but the last few years this has not been the trend.  Ive given a lot of thought about rockstars and trends since I started my Himel Brothers brand and started making leather jackets.  For anyone in fashion the ability to court the stars is a recipe for success.  At least twice a week my friends suggest I give away a jacket to this star or that star.  Well I have a strong reaction to these ideas.  Firstly I have no budget to give away jackets.  But secondly and most importantly, I believe that in
order to value something it must be purchased.  There must be a desire and a true love for a garment in order to wear it and cherish it!

Now this week was the Canadian music awards otherwise know as the Junos.  For most of you  out in the world you would be unaware of what a Juno is.  We in Canada however are very proud of our little version of the Grammy's.  For most of the world Canadian musicians are usually associated with being American.  So our artists are typically "undercover".

This years Juno's were hosted by Drake (formerly of Degrassi).  If you don't know who he is I can not help you.  But if you look at some of the winners you will notice a new emerging trend.  Many of the winners are sporting brand new leather jackets.  From K'naan to Daniel Lanois, the leather jacket seems to be a hot commodity.  Me, I didnt think the ones chosen were ideal.  Mostly they looked plastic like and fairly generic.  I of course am a snob.  Most
artists do not choose their own wardrobes but have them picked by stylists.  So while I am not going to criticize the stylists for these artists I will definitely give "ups" to McGraw's stylist for choosing a black and white two tone 1960s Brooks jacket for his country video.  That is an excellent choice for rockstar leather!

I am proud of all my Canadian music artists and their jackets.  I hope they will come see me soon for their next one!