1970s Leather Jacket vibes in Rich Calf Suede

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I love a 1970s leather jacket vibe as much as anyone in fashion.

Part of it, for me, is the way Leather, and leather working underwent a renaissance of sorts during the early 1970’s. Over the years I just keep coming back the details and treatments of that era that inspire me. (So much so I’ve decided to do a whole post on it.)

This double faced calf suede jacket is in a way, derived from another 1970’s inspired jacket I did.  Also in a double faced leather.  Double faced leather usually means the back side of the leather is  a cleanly finished as the front, some finishes may make the leather be truly reversible – but most often it does away with the need for lining and a lot of interior construction. 

It also allows me to shine a focus on the finishing and give a nod to the heyday of unique leather work – the 1970’s.  While also tipping the hat to denim – which also came unto its own during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The calf suede itself is really gorgeous and weighty and has an actual a nubuck finish – where the top grain of the leather is sanded till it’s like velvet – it’s not the weaker split type of suede.  Which is what most of the suede garments of the 1960’s & 1970’s were usually made of .   It’s also been treated with an eco-protectant in case it should run into a drizzle.  This leather should wear and hold up fantastically!  It’s also from a tannery that utilizes the most up-to-date & eco-friendly tanning technology available.

I always loved the outstanding collars and long lines of the 70s and I incorporated both into this jacket. The contrast of the black suede against the copper zipper and topstitching pops nicely, and the wide, sort of western style shape of the cuffs ties everything together – evoking the 1970s without aping it.  This a throughly modern and wearable jacket.

Using vintage inspiration, does not need to mean making a ‘copy’.  (People want “copies” of garments all the time- it’s unimaginative & gets quite tiresome.)  So, even when I have hewn closely to source material like my Homage “Swan” Jacket (a direct homage to EWMIC’s Parrot Jacket).  To me it not worth doing if I cannot improve on the original. 

For my Homage jacket it was not just the fit (the original size M would not have fit a 12 year old boy back in 1998 – bodies have changed drastically!), but the overall construction which was very basic and rough. This was a hallmark of a lot of leather work back then – it was leather WORK!

No lining, big stitches, very big zippers – often mismatched, fairly stiff heavy leather – heck, tanning technology has changed a lot in 50 years!  But those original jackets were truly inspired design – and they continue to inspire. I have no doubt that work will be inspiring others in another 50 years!

For this Calf Suede jacket – my inspiration was collars and details on vintage pieces I’ve seen and owned.  From the longer line of the 70’s, to the beautifully finished leather every element holds a sort of muscle memory of the era.  Then I jumped at taking advantage of the wonderful contrast of the copper zipper! Contrast stitched calf suede – in a rough split suede (not a lux as this gorgeous top grain suede) was seen a lot in the 70’s.

So this piece get’s it’s 1970’s leather jacket vibe – more subtly, more classically – from small evocative detailing – and a modern proportion and cut that holds a happy echo of the era. 



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