A custom made shearling coat is a true luxury.
And no, I am not talking about the plastic and PU faux shearling/sherpa/pile junk that is being passed of as ‘Shearling’ by every freeking clickbait fashion article out there- that stuff is seriously TOXIC!
REAL Shearling is an amazing material. It is the finished leather and wool from lamb or sheep and provides remarkable natural insulation by trapping warmth within its dense wool side. It is incredibly warm when worn with the fur side in, towards the body.
You do not need a lot of layering to be warm and comfortable in a shearling and you will be less likely to overheat as shearling helps to regulate your body temperature under changing conditions. On top of that, the wool is naturally antimicrobial and repels odor-causing bacteria. Depending on the finish used for the leather of the coat it can also be incredibly weather resistant.
However, the styling on RTW shearling coats these days leaves a lot to be desired.
Shearling jackets in cookie cutter shapes, (if there is any shape at all) boring colors, and pretty much like everything else out there – determined by ‘the masses’ or whatever is imagined to be the masses at that given moment in time.
The fit on these shearling coats and jackets is likewise set for a mass size range, which adds its own limitations. Alterations on shearling are not like alterations on leather. If any can even be done, a specialist with specialized machinery is usually required.
Almost every shearling coat you see out there today is made in Turkey, they have incredible resources, from the sheep to the tanning to the labor and they turn out quality work. Still, what you will find doing a google search are a lot of pretty much interchangeable styles, no matter which brand you might choose. You’ll find authentic shearlings at this large production level average between roughly $1000. and $2500.
Most of the styles you will find will feature a suede finished exterior. Not so weather resistant and will need a bit of special care over its lifetime. The construction will be good, but overall there is a lot of sameness.
There is a world of other finishes out there that you will never see offered. From patent to metallics to iridescent finishes. I have been drooling over skins I saw at the last leather show I attended that had metallic finished fur! It was incredible, soft and smooth but instead of the typical ‘tipped’ smooth Toscana fur, it glistened with silver metallic!
In this case I could forgive the suede back because the silver made the black look super rich!
I do hate to think of that beautiful shearling being used to make a run-of the mill garment. But you don’t see anything like that in the garments offered because much higher quality skins are being used to make that incredible finish and that production price point is shot straight to hell!
Every year I get requests for custom made shearling coats, which I cannot fulfill. When I get a request in Sept/October asking for a custom shearling jacket , it’s too late for that year!
- By October the selection of shearlings available has already been picked over. All the very best, in-demand skins are gone. The next seasons selection starts arriving in February. And any special orders that can be accommodated take 2 months to arrive from the tannery.
- Ideally muslin fittings for a shearling coat should be in person. It can be done long distance but takes MUCH longer because design for ease and movement – whichis different for each client & project and has to be absolutely correct because of the way shearling is cut and constructed. The best way and fastest way to achieve this is in person. (As noted, There are very few alterations that can be done after the fact in shearling)
- The bare minimum of time needed to complete a custom shearling coat or jacket is 3 months, this time frame requires in-person fittings and skins that are in stock, in NYC.
- This lead time also allows my clients to pay in up to 4 installments depending on the final project requirements. Please note that prices listed for reserved slots are based on average orders and projects can vary based on specifics.
This is why I have decided to do pre-sales for a limited number of fully bespoke Shearling coats and jackets.
A custom made Shearling is not something that can be ordered ‘in-season’ since it needs at least a 3 month lead time. If you want a choice of really unique and special leathers the lead time is longer, in some cases, special leathers can be ordered just for your project.
Since I make every single piece, starting with your pattern- from the ground up. Your fit and preferences are completely, granularly built into your bespoke shearling coat. A nd while in-person fittings are always preferred I am able to work with you long distance or on a hybrid basis as well- (long distance fittings always require additional lead time, otherwise the fit and end product is the same)
When I create a custom piece, I am creating a piece meant to give a lifetime of wear and joy. I really feel clothing should speak to you, and make you feel happy, (or strong, or powerful!). Clothing has the power to amplify your mood, and your essence.
I feel very strongly about this and even when designing a piece out of a striking leather I want it to retain a timelessness and this is tied in with the spirt of the client. It’s not tied in with trends or dictated by what’s in ‘style’ at any given moment.
I take my time with design fitting & construction on all my pieces, there are no shortcuts. Multiple muslin fittings are a given for shearling. Whether you want a fully bespoke design or a custom fit Elytra coat the fitting process is the same – I don’t work with templates.
So to be able to accommodate custom shearling commissions along with my regular leather work the limited number of Shearling commission slots that can be created each year must be reserved before May 30th of each year to insure completion by December 15th. This allows enough time to procure any special order skins and insure the best available selection of unique skins. As well as Time to properly complete all fitting requirements.
To Reserve one of 7 Slots for a full on Custom made shearling coat or jacket or to place a pre-order (deposit of $800) on one of 3 Elytra Custom Elytra Shearling Coatmade Shearlings.
Remember, the tanneries in Europe are closed for the entire month of August and special order finishes can take as long as 2 months to produce- so August is far too late to start. The optimal time to order a bespoke shearling is between October and May before the winter you want it delivered.
This way you will get the best choice of skins, especially if you are looking for something unique. And delivery by December 15.
Any questions feel free to contact me via the button below.