Today, the leather jacket is pretty much cultural shorthand for cool – put it on and your outfit instantly exudes an edgy, bad-boy quality. Here, a look at how the outerwear icon evolved from protective gear to a modern-day style must-have.

Early 1900s
Brown leather flight jackets are worn by aviators and members of the military. During WWII they become known as “bomber jackets,” prized for their heavy insulation and warmth.

Irving Schott designs the first motorcycle jacket and sells it for $5.50 (yes, you read that right) at the Harley Davidson store in NYC.

Here’s where the Hollywood years come in. Marlon Brando wears a leather bomber jacket and schools everywhere ban “the Brando look,” fearing it symbolizes a rebellious youth culture.

Rebel-without-a-cause (and movie star heartthrob) James Dean is hardly ever seen without his leather jacket, further perpetuating its rebellious reputation.

Paired with his signature aviators, Steve McQueen single-handedly makes the leather jacket the epitome of cool.

The Fonz” debuts his leather jacket on the popular TV show Happy Days. This very jacket remains on display today in the Smithsonian Institution.

Early 1980s
Punk rockers (see Blondie and Billy Idol) give the leather jacket their own spin, adding studs, safety pins, and of course, plenty of attitude.

The leather jacket is an outerwear staple seen on a slew of celebrities. Purchase your own in our Giorgio Armani Men Boutique.

Our Giorgio Armani Men Boutique opens Wednesday, December 19, at 3PM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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December 20, 2012


From Versace to Valentino, take a peek behind the labels that have defined men’s formalwear. Through trial, tribulation, unexpected deaths, and iconic on-screen moments, these luxury houses continue to rule the fashion roost.

Founded in Rome, 1945

Classic cuts made for the ever-confident guy, charismatic businessman, and bona fide bad boy. Brioni is known as the official suit of James Bond (worn by actors Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig) and was made infamous by New York crime boss John Gotti of the Gambino family – who earned his nickname, “Dapper Don,” thanks to his extensive wardrobe of custom Brioni suits. These timeless pieces were also favorites of handsome Hollywood hall-of-famers Clark Gable and Cary Grant, and can be seen on today’s red carpets on the likes of Al Pacino, Kirk Douglas, and Donald Trump.

Founded in Milan, 1978

Contemporary, one-of-a-kind, stand-out-from-the-crowd pieces, these suits are for the man who likes to make an entrance. Worn famously by rap stars and musicians alike, the distinguished Versace name is associated with glamour and over-the-top chic. Elton John dons Versace duds encrusted with diamonds or crystals. Versace designs were also favorites of the late rap star Tupac Shakur and Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose.

Continue reading “Luxe to the Last Stitch: A Look Behind the Labels” »

December 13, 2012

German mines shut down – so miners turn to woodworking as a means to provide for their families.

Friedrich Wilhelm Füchtner creates the first commercial, mass-produced version of the nutcracker – a king wearing cavalry dress and a crown reminiscent of a miner’s hat.

Peter Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, premieres, sparking people’s interest in collecting nutcrackers.

American soldiers return from World War II, bringing the nutcrackers home as keepsakes.

Legend says nutcrackers serve as trusty watchdogs, guarding your family from evil spirits and danger.

“Don’t be afraid, my beard is long, my head is large, my look is grim, but that matters not. I won’t bite you. In spite of my big mouth and grim appearance, I look with my heart for your happiness.” – German folklore

The 12 Days of Merry: The Holiday-Ready Home Boutique opens Sunday, November 18 at 11AM ET .

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November 18, 2012