The adventure continues at this thrift store:
I spied the most incredible motorcycle jacket in a tinsy-tiny size, which is super rare. I unhooked the jacket and slid it on. OH, man it felt amazing, stiff, perfectly worked in and RAD antique hardware.
Riding the high of finding a perfect leather jacket for mere pittance, I start looking closer.
Langlitz Leathers is a local Portland motorcycle leather wear company producing 5 pieces daily and only one outlet in America but 50 licensed dealers in Japan (!). They've been around for 62 years, since 1947!
Behind the jacket was a pair of itty bitty leather riding pants.
I bought the jacket and left the pants behind. I didn't see how anyone would ever fit in them, definitely not me.
We left the store and I started checking out ebay and vintage sites trying to find something similar and things got interesting.
I looked up the name on the inside pocket, "Mrs. Bert Taylor", well Bert Taylor really. And found he was a professional Norton racer in 1927. This was his wife's custom made leather.
Finding the provenance and history I felt guilty about separating the pants from jacket and returned to buy them for $14.99.
It took me a few hours to find any information on this particular jacket. It was older than all the Langlitz Leather jackets online. I FINALLY found this page in a Japanese book about the history of leather jackets (for sale on ebay).
(click to enlarge)
JACKPOT! A 1950-1956 Langlitz Leather horsehide Columbia leather jacket with matching pants. I'm hoping to go to Japan and have a good chunk of my expenses paid with these babies. First, I'm going to head to Langlitz and talk to Dave (who is a minor celebrity in Japan) and see what he has to say about cleaning and treating the leather. I also would like to find out more about the jacket and possibly what it's worth since I haven't found any online from the 50's for sale only a few from the 60's. I have learned a whole hella of a lot about vintage leathers, I'm now a huge fanatic!
Reminds me of the first time I encountered a Langlitz Leather jacket, 2002 working at Music Millennium.
Check the hat. Benicio is a bigger fanatic than I, bless him.