In 1929, brothers Irving and Jack Schott, the sons of Russian immigrants, created the first biker jacket, which they called the Perfecto. Inititally made for utility purposes, it quickly came to stand for all things cool, rebellious, and edgy. On the backs of men like James Dean and Marlon Brando, the simple moto — with its cropped waist, peaked collar, belt, and hardware — became the calling card of an untamed spirit. But it was women who turned it into a fashion staple. From the 1960s, when Yves Saint Laurent sent a crocodile version down the Dior runway, to modern versions by Rick Owens and Saint Laurent, the biker jacket has become a symbol of rebellion.
In honor of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s new exhibition, “Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket,” click through our slideshow of 25 women who wore the biker jacket like a second skin: from ‘70s punk to ‘80s rebel to more than one good girl gone bad.