Classic Reworked: The Biker Jacket
You’ll notice at MEAME, we’re often influenced by the history of design. Sometimes it’s from the glass beads in reflectives and other times, it’s deriving details from traditional shooting blazers. For us, rooting out the interestingness in classic styles is a lot like discovering a hidden route on a familiar journey – it’s when new possibilities start shivering into view.
Much like our Blazer, the Biker Jacket takes note of its 87-year history. Designed in 1928 by Irving Schott, the original jacket had utility and durability for motor bikers in mind. With a zipped fastening, D-pocket and lapels that could zip up or snap down, it stood out against a backdrop of long wool coats that were popular at the time. The key feature was the asymmetric front, as it allowed riders to hunker down over their bike without cutting into the body. The original leather Biker was naturally hardwearing – a shield against the wind, rain and whatever else the weather threw at those intrepid riders.
The Biker jacket has had many incarnations since. Rising to popularity in the 1953 film, The Wild One, it then travelled across the Atlantic and its cult status was adopted by British youth subcultures, such as Punks and New Romantics. The more recent heritage revival has seen the Biker’s appeal broaden to become a staple in many different wardrobes.
For MEAME, we too designed for function and style. Our process began by searching for an elegant and technical fabric that was waterproof for indecisive weather. With consideration, we sourced a fabric that added a premium feel through a jersey layer, and chose a softer Navy instead of stark black. So set on keeping wearers dry, we also use tape seaming to ensure a fully watertight jacket.
Fundamental to the establishment of MEAME was making safety more acceptable through considered design. We used embossed snakeskin effect reflectives to add subtle detail to an otherwise overlooked element of performance clothing. Whilst the classic asymmetrical cut retains the essence of the Biker, we honed in on adding versatility to the garment. Both the Altair and Ankaa offer the ability to change from jacket to gillet – you’re even able to unzip whilst cycling, adding extra ventilation when needed.
Ultimately, the MEAME Biker comes from a desire to enhance the performance and function of a style classic – a jacket that works for an active lifestyle, and designed to be versatile enough to move more effortlessly through our daily lives.