The moto jacket has been a mainstay of avant-garde style since cultural icons like James Dean made it a symbol of the 1950s counter-current.
The cross-country, blue-collar-romantic style that arose around Beat Generation figures like Dean and Jack Kerouac—the originators of cool—had a defining influence on the Americana tradition. In contrast to the more mainstream recreational look that came out of the luxury automobile boom (driving shoes, long scarves, and car coats), the early Americana style reflected a unique blend of ruggedness and romance—a certain softness and earnestness underscoring a rough exterior.
Nowadays, as it was then, the moto jacket is a poster child of edgy style. Today’s Americana dress still has a strong sense of that same bohemian luxury. It remains an appealing look in part because of its attractive figureheads, but even more so because of its expression of authenticity.
We see those characteristics interpreted handsomely in this side-zip moto jacket by Gimo’s. Gimo’s are true masters of vintage leather jackets. Their washing and hand-distressing process creates a butter-soft leather with a travelled look that feels great to wear and simply radiates depth and complexity. This jacket’s heavy use of large metal zippers at the front closure and pockets creates a dynamic, asymmetric look that nicely contrasts the luxury leather feel.
Roaring cross-country on a motorcycle, cruising top-down along Highway 101, or strolling the city streets, wearing a piece with this kind of history and character feels like tapping into a special part of Americana heritage.