Have you ever heard of “the” parrot jacket? Until recently, I had not. One of you is a collector and seller of vintage leather jackets which is how I found out about them (and to whom I owe these photos). [Amended: Goodbye Heart owns these images. More great styles are on their site.]
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These were produced by a company in San Francisco in the sixties and seventies, called East West Musical Instruments. As a side line, they made things to sell. Their leather jackets became popular enough that that sideline became a separate company in the late seventies. There’s not much information available on the company, I suspect it’s been out of business awhile now. Suffice to say, these jackets are highly collectible. There’s one on eBay in a slightly different colorway with a starting bid of $1,250.00.
Check out that collar pattern, fun no? I don’t know that I’d agree it looks a parrot, more like a goose head but the design certainly provides some design inspiration. Any guessimates on how long it’d take to cut that pattern -or sew it? Somehow, I don’t think anyone will be knocking off this style anytime soon. Tricky design like this is usually self-protecting. Few will attempt it due to complexity alone.
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Unfortunately, I can’t find out much about them. I’m surprised there’s not a wiki entry for them. This site has photos of another style (the wood rose) and says:
The artisans at East West were hand crafting leather and suede garments for everyone from Janis Joplin to Carlos Santana (even Springsteen owned an East West). The workmanship was incredible and to say they are highly prized today is a gross understatement.