The Schott Perfecto
Credit: Photograph by Michael Pirrocco

It may have been popularized by Marlon Brando and James Dean before being adopted by the CBGB crowd, but the Schott Perfecto Motorcycle Jacket traces its history even farther back. In 1928, Irving Schott designed and produced what's billed as the first mass-production leather biker jacket. Since then, the asymmetrical, belted style has spawned both countless copy cats and a host of new Schott styles. Though the jackets look great, they are as notable for the construction as they are for design. Each is made in a New Jersey factory a short drive away from where the jacket company was founded on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1913. Much has changed over the last century, but Schott has largely preserved the design of the Perfecto while employing softer, more pliable leathers. When the company opened its first store last fall, it became considerably easier for fans of the brand to try the jacket on. It remains hard to take it off. [$735;]