The Dynamic Beauty of AXEL'S Spring Leather Jackets
Spring is here, which in the Rockies means sunny days and massive snowstorms only to return to sunny days and massive snowstorms. And I know it’ll be a few more months before I can safely take off my studded tires, but I don’t care because in my mind it’s spring!
The other day while taking photos of the new spring leather jackets I was able to completely envelop myself in that mindset. The colors, like a field of wildflowers, embody the fervor of spring. The attitude, whether derived from a chic motorcycle jacket or a vintage safari jacket, is fresh and exciting. Now, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Candice and I’m the girl in the photos. This is my family’s business and I have one of the greatest jobs in the world; I get to work with people I adore, I travel to amazing places, and I help buy truly exceptional clothing for our store. And while “modeling” doesn’t rank up there in the top 10, it did on this day. We shot outside my house under the juniper tree and the day was beautiful. I had my worn jeans on, my favorite boots, a white shirt, a turquoise necklace my mom gave me, and my awesome distressed leather jacket. I was completely in my element. I felt pretty. I felt strong. I felt me. Here I was staring at the incredible Sawatch Range in my backyard, sun on my face, with a few of my talented friends working behind the camera. There was no stage set, only real sage brush, sunshine, and a super cool leather jacket we found in Italy.
And the irony is: in general I’m really not a huge smooth leather person- whether it comes to interior furnishings or clothing. Perhaps because I live in the West and I’ve overdosed on the “western motif” of heavy leather boys’ club chairs, antler chandeliers, and upholstery with coyotes howling at the moon. I’ve grown up with fabric- exceptional colorful cashmere and wool blends that evoke the romance and history of the Italian and English mills from whence they came. If anything, I gravitate more towards suede, which has a softer more subtle appeal. Leather can so often come across as hard, flat, and masculine. But, and this is a major BUT, the spring leathers that we carefully select for our collection are anything but hard, flat, and masculine. Instead they’ve been washed, worked, massaged, hand dyed with organic tannins, and designed in a way that eloquently conveys a mood, an attitude, or a dream. It’s what I call the Language of Leather.
As a natural product, leather has an inherent beauty that other man-made materials cannot replicate. Yet, only a master leather artisan, who understands the soul of a garment, can really bring out this quality. In terms of color, leather can achieve a level of depth that other man-made materials cannot. Tanned and dyed with only organic substances, this process achieves fabulous color, while retaining all the rich characteristics of the hide.
Attaining this color-saturated skin is only the first step in creating a luxury leather jacket. The design must have an identity; it must reveal a story or an attitude, while maintaining a high level of sophistication. In order to translate a motorcycle theme into today’s fashion, the designer must interpret the romance of the look; daring, rebellious, sexy, and edgy. Our Camile Spiga jacket subtly evokes this attitude without encroaching on other more vulgar expressions; the buttery South-African Lambskin fits close to the body, while the ribbed stretch knit panels under the arms accentuate mobility and comfort. The side-zip detail is fresh, modern, and cool, worn open or zipped to reveal the beautiful, feminine lines. In essence, moto meets chic and the rest is history.
Speaking of history, the story and look of Americana finds much of its inspiration in our western heritage, when pioneers clad themselves in the most robust and available material at the time: leather. Born from a simple need during a pivotal time in history, leather became associated with manifest destiny and the freedom to express oneself. There’s no wonder that the hippy generation turned in their Abercrombies for suede moccasins and high leather boots. And there I was, sitting under the juniper tree, with my tooled cowboy boots on, wearing the Vintage Moto Jacket- a rich cognac yummy kind of leather. I wasn’t wearing some heavy buckaroo coat, but rather a fitted, lightweight cool side-zip jacket. And even though I’m half Norwegian and have lived in Colorado most of my life, I am still enthralled with the majesty, legacy, and lifestyle of my home. Leave it to the Italians to interpret the romance of the west.
Aside from all these wonderful looks, perhaps the quality I love most about our leathers is precisely how dynamic they are; I’ve worn the aforementioned black motorcycle jacket with a long chiffon skirt and the vintage Americana jacket with more tailored pants. What ties all these looks together is the exquisite, sophisticated styling that allows you to feel that edginess without attending a motorcycle rally; that allows you to feel the beauty and freedom of the west without appearing like the “Queen of the Wild Frontier”. In whatever mood our leathers are worn, they will inevitably add a touch of flair to your wardrobe. And with spring in the air, and snow tires still on the ground, isn’t that precisely what we need right now?