Perfecto Motorcycle Jacket

The Wild One

Perfecto is a brand of ‘lancer fronted’ leather motorcycle jackets designed by Irving Schott and manufactured by American clothing company Schott NYC. The company was founded in 1913, and was the first company to put a zipper on a jacket. In 1928 Irving Schott designed and produced the first ever leather motorcycle jacket, he named it the ‘Perfecto’ after his favorite cigar.

The jackets were made out of horsehide, had a belted front, D-pocket, flap change pocket, zippered sleeve cuffs and shoulder epaulets  This classic motorcycle jacket was a double riders jacket design which meant that one part of the front zipper was located a couple of inches in. When zipped up this created a seal where no air would pass through when riding a motorcycle.

In the late 1940s a new design was introduced – the 613. It was nicknamed the ‘One Star’ because it had a star on each shoulder epaulet  In the early 1950s another version of the jacket was introduced – the 618. The 618 had no stars on the shoulder epaulettes. Stores that carried the jackets often had problems with people stealing the stars of the 613.

Marlon Brando wore a 618 in the movie ‘The Wild One’ (1953), the stars on his jacket were not original but added to the jacket. There has been no word on where this jacket is today. Because of the film, which was the first outlaw biker movie, the black motorcycle jacket became synonymous with bad attitude and was banned from many American schools during the 1950s. U.S. seminal punk rock band The Ramones wore Schott Perfecto leather jackets as part of their distinctive uniform look.

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