10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Schott NYC

10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Schott NYC

One of the coolest NYC fashion brands around, let's take a look at 10 things you never knew about Schott NYC.

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Founded over one hundred years ago, Schott NYC is steeped in American culture and history. From a factory in a basement on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Irving and Jack Schott went from producing raincoats and selling them from door to door, to becoming the revered manufacturers of WWII Military bombers for US troops.

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10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Schott NYC

For the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando, the iconic Schott Perfecto was the go-to leather jacket and by the 1980s, the punks had adopted the jacket as their own.

Today the company is still run by the 3rd and 4th generation Schott's. With big names like Jay Z, Kanye West and Robert Pattinson bringing Schott's popularity right into the 21st century, Irving and Jack, the sons of Russian immigrants, are a true testament to the American dream.

Original Schott bros factory
Original Schott Bros Factory | PHOTO CREDIT: The Uniformant

Read on for 10 things you probably never knew about the brand.

1. They were the 1st to put a zipper on a jacket. When Irving Schott started his business in 1913, he sold fur lined raincoats and leather jackets. Outerwear at that time closed with buttons but Irving had a close relationship with the Talon company of New Jersey (inventors of the 'hookless fastener' aka zipper!) in the early 1920s and was the first to use a zipper in a jacket.

2. Schott designed the 1st motorcycle jacket. In 1928 Irving Schott designed and produced the first leather motorcycle jacket. Retailing for $5.50 at a Long Island Harley-Davidson distributor, the jacket was durable, rugged, and immediately embraced. The asymmetrical zipped, black leather motorcycle jacket remains virtually the same to this day, and 88 years later is still preferred by bikers for the technical riding details.

Kanye West Wedding Schott Jacket
Kim and Kanye had matching Schott Perfecto's made for their wedding reception | PHOTO CREDIT: Schott

3. Irving named the elite collection of leather and sheepskin jackets after his favourite cigar, the Perfecto. The Perfecto® jacket collection included many different leather styles including the asymmetrical motorcycle jacket. When Irving’s original design, the asymmetrical motorcycle jacket, reached world wide acclaim in the 1950s, the name of the brand became synonymous with the new jacket style. 

Many people still think the name Perfecto relates to the silhouette of the asymmetrical style motorcycle jacket itself, but the name is trademarked and can only be used for genuine products made by Schott NYC.

schott perfecto label
PHOTO CREDIT: The Uniformant

4. Schott was the uniform of the All American Rebel. The film The Wild One gave a face to the all American rebel, in 1953 when Marlon Brando wore a Schott Perfecto jacket and a bad attitude. The jacket was banned in schools in the 50s but still became just as popular as hot rods and rock and roll.

Marlon Brando in The Wild One
Marlon Brando wearing the Perfecto in The Wild One | PHOTO CREDIT: Mattsko

5. Rancher styles are lesser known but they have been part of the collection since the 1960s. Suede fringe western jackets are still made with the same machine that Irving Schott bought to streamline the cutting for all the fringe jackets his son Mel was designing for the collection! Turned out to be a good purchase because the western style was huge in the 60s with the hippie movement and is making a come back again!

schott western jacket
Schott Western Jacket | PHOTO CREDIT: Schott

6. The punk movement in the '70s reincarnated the All American rebel and the Schott Perfecto. Schott jackets became a uniform in downtown New York City in the late 70s. The new wave of punk rock bands playing at CBGB’s like The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The New York Dolls were rarely seen without their Perfecto®.

The Ramones in the Perfecto
The Ramones were also fans of the Perfecto | PHOTO CREDIT: Poor Boy

7. Even The Beastie Boys wore leather jackets made for motorcycle cops. The most popular police style Schott NYC sold was hip length with adjustable snap side vents to allow officers to access their weapons. Motorcycle police officers have worn Schott jackets in Omaha, Baltimore, Chicago, Hoboken, Perth Amboy, and New York City.

Beastie Boys wearing Police Jacket
The Beastie Boys were a fan of the Schott Police jacket, Los Angeles Palladium 1987 | PHOTO CREDIT: Schott

8. Scott is still manufactured in the USA. The Schott family employs over 100 people in their union factory in Union, New Jersey. All the leather is hand cut one piece at a time and they are still using turn of the century machines from the original factory in the Lower East Side. Schott NYC uses as many American made materials as possible including cone mills denim, martexin wax wear and US domestic cowhides.

Many of the machines in the Schott factory are so old that parts have to be made for them by their in house mechanic. The integrity and the quality of the product has been maintained for 100 years by changing very little in the overall manufacturing process.

Irving Schott
Founder Irving in the Schott Factory - PHOTO CREDIT: Urban Outfitters

9. The business is still run by the Schott'sSchott NYC is owned and operated by the third and fourth generations of the Schott family. Many employees have worked in the factory for 30+ years and a handful for over 40 years.

10. Schott represents classic American style. The outerwear pieces that Schott NYC is best known for: the motorcycle jacket, the bomber jacket and the peacoat are timeless American pieces of outerwear that not only last for more than one life time quality wise, but also trend wise. 

James Dean and Bruce Springsteen wearing The Perfecto
James Dean and Bruce Springsteen wearing The Perfecto | PHOTO CREDIT: Le Vestiare de Jim & To Take the Train

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