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Fashion History: The evolution of the Moto jacket

Posted: Jan 23 2015

Everyone knows that fashion trends come and go; what’s cool today is usually gone by the next season. Needless to say, a style that sticks around from season to season while retaining its cool factor is as rare as a unicorn. Such pieces are almost always relegated to being “classics.” The one exception to that rule is the motorcycle jacket, otherwise known as the moto.

The original motorcycle jacket was designed for Harley Davidson in 1928 by Schott NYC and was the very first jacket to feature a zip front. Throughout the years, it became a staple amongst Hollywood legends, music and fashion icons.

1950’s Bad Boys

Perhaps the most striking images of the moto jacket are those of Marlon Brando and James Dean sporting one. Appearing in films like The Wild One kept its roots firmly planted in America’s rebellious youth culture.

1970’s Music Scene

The dawn of punk music called for a whole new look amongst its early musicians. The Ramones led the pack, performing in a uniform of tattered jeans and tees topped off with motorcycle jackets. This decade also saw Debbie Harry as the first woman to slip one on.

1980’s Runways

Finally breaking free of its counterculture roots, the moto jacket made its way onto fashion runways for the first time during the 1980s. Jean Paul Gautier was amongst the first to show the look, which he eventually helped to cross over to mainstream America by dressing celebs like pop idol Madonna in the style.

Today’s Pop Culture

Having finally made the crossover, the moto jacket is a staple in every woman’s wardrobe. Today’s variations are just as cool as its origins, but aren’t limited to the black leather versions of yesteryear. Instead, the most fashionable and popular options are brightly colored and in different fabrics.

Check out our moto collection here!

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