Friday, 28 August 2009
Shiny Boots of Leather
Finally made it back to the Lewis Leathers shop in Paddington, London. Established in 1892, it has seen both historical achievement and historic demise. Their jackets were made famous on the backs of the Grand Prix greats, and became synonymous with the 60s caff racing Rockers, and later the likes of The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and all the rest. In 1993 the original shop on Great Portland St closed down for good.
Then, Derek Harris who had been quietly beavering in the wings of L.L. as an export agent, scraped up the ashes and valiantly went forth. The leathers are still all British made, and 99% obsessively faithful reproductions of the original garments - It is expensive kit, but it's relative. You can't find bargain originals at autojumbles or on eBay anymore, and the leather and stitching is mostly shot by now anyway. "It's quality son, but not as we know it". I splashed out on some kinky boots - the traffic warden that was about to give me a ticket for leaving my bike on the pavement outside, just bent down and kissed them instead.
Lewis Leathers, 26 Chilworth Street, London W2 6DT, England
For our Japanese friends Hiroyuki the charming pattern cutter also has his own Rockers website for all that impossible to find regalia.
Our Italian friends Good Guys in Rome are also stocking Lewis Leathers. BP
my all-time fave World Champion, Barry Sheene's Suzuki leathers from 1977