Factory: Schott Bros

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factory-schottnyc.jpg

Schott Bros. was started in 1913 in New York City’s Lower East Side by two Russian immigrant brothers. They were the first to put zippers on jackets and the creators of the Perfecto style made famous by James Dean and Marlon Brando. The factory has long since moved to New Jersey, but it’s still a family-run company of craftsmen and seamstresses making motorcycle jackets by hand and they still work with the same machines they’ve had since the teens.

Click below for the feature.
Factory: Schott Bros.

  • Noone1569

    I just love these photostories you guys do. I’m glad that you’re focusing on HFL as opposed to Jalopnik, love both sites, but motorcycles speak to me.

  • Cu3Zn2balls

    Great stuff Wes & Grant. To echo Noone1569, I also love the photo histories that you guys do. Always interesting when the past, present and the future intersect.

  • BL

    that guy on the “BRUTE” should have a chain mail glove on his left hand …and safety glasses…

  • Pete

    Really. Schott?? They make fashion motorcycle stuff. It has no armor, no reinforced anything, no articulation. It’s the stuff you buy in the jean shops on Broadway. I’ve been a long time reader of this blog and I’m frankly surprised you would profile Schott; they clearly do not belong any where near alpinestars, tourmaster, etc… in terms of what really works on a bike.

    • Grant Ray

      Pete, maybe you could try laying off the ATGATT juice and take a sip of century-old hand-constructed moto-culture. It might loosen you up a bit. Besides, who said we were comparing Schott with contemporary technical gear?

    • Corey

      Apples and oranges Pete. I have a neon yellow Aerostich roadcrafter jacket – the Swiss Army knife of dorky moto jackets. Just as safe as it is boring and I love it. But the jacket I lust after in my closet is my Schott horsehide café racer jacket – one of the Perfectos – which is perfect for a bop around town. The leather is thick and tough as hell and made in a union shop right here in the USA. In fact the hide is much tougher than the modern Spidi jacket I used to have and a gazillion times cooler. Gear is like shoes – gotta have different stuff for different occasions. As always, very nice photo story guys – beautiful selection of images.

      • luxlamf

        I just got the CAfe Racer jacket lst week, its the 5th Schott I have bought in the last 25 years. I love it.

  • Dax

    I too love your photo stories, keep’em coming.

  • Core

    Anyone notice how none of those people are smiling?

    Well I did…

    Their like me I bet.. glad they have a job, just not glad to work at said job.

    • Grant Ray

      I think you’re reading too much into the shots. That’s my fault as the photographer, but here’s what happened. First, I had maybe 20 minutes to shoot, so nobody was comfortable with me. I was a stranger sticking a camera in people’s faces while they’re doing highly skilled jobs. Second, they’re doing highly skilled jobs that require long stretches of concentration, not talking weekend walks on beaches watching sunsets.

      They either pretended I wasn’t there, or giggled all around me while I was shooting and made fun of the people I shot. Others, like the guy built like a boxer, were in a mental zone and just cranking out work.

  • Boggled

    Great post. Thanks.

  • http://www.txsbr.com Ben!

    Great post. Schott jackets are outstanding. I’m fortunate to have a local gear shop that carries them and doing side by side comparisons on construction quality is astonishing. Heck, I picked up a Perfecto jacket made back around ’82 for a song on eBay and it’s in great shape. “Heirloom Quality” applies here.

  • http://www.RockersCT.com R13

    We’re lucky to have traditional shops like this still in the US when everyone else decided they can save $5 and move overseas where there are little to no labor laws. I’m sure these people are much happier than their chinese counterparts. As for protection most the locals around here prefer polo’s and baseball caps, so I feel secure rocking my leathers.

  • http://damiengaudet.blogspot.com damien

    love the color and tone of these (and all previous) images. nice work.

  • j huettl

    Retired my first Schott Brown Horse Hide about 8 years ago when I had it restitched/re zippered/relined at a saddle shop (third rebuild) and gave it to my daughter, She had tears of joy as Dad had given her his treasured million mile jacket (bought it back in 1969). Yep, I had bought myself a new one and figured my old Schott would serve her at least another 33 years if she takes care of it.

    ps.. I still miss the old one and she won’t let it go. The Kid just doesn’t have a sense of humor. Guess I’ll just have to wear out the new one cause the Quality of Schott is still the SAME and it is hard to tell the difference in the two jackets except one has a lot of Road Rash and miles
    upon miles of memories.

  • through-the-years

    Good stuff – nice work. Great pics of the Schott factory highlighting old world craftsmanship. We did a tour of Vanson Leather in Fall River last fall and it also was pretty impressive how they they build their jackets the way they’ve been doing it for years – all by hand using decades old machines. I love the smell of leather shops, reminds me of a tannery that was in my hometown. BTW, there use to be a guy in Lynn, MA named Walter Dyer that hand-made cool suede and leather jackets and moccasins. He drove a big purple Cadillac and was always decked out from head to toe in full leather and fringe – a real character. Wonder whatever happened to him? I’ll have to google his name.

  • http://carldyers.com robin

    Walter passed away a few years ago. (he was my brother-in-law) We still make moccasins but we’re in Friendship, Indiana now.

  • http://www.hillelsangels.org David

    Schott has a warehouse sale every winter, First Sat in December. Cash only, amazing deals!