“A Duty To Offend”: The Art Of The Punk Black Leather Jacket – Design You Trust

“A Duty To Offend”: The Art Of The Punk Black Leather Jacket


When a chubby Marlon Brando roared into town on a motorbike in ‘The Wild One’ he popularized the black leather jacket as a fashionable symbol of rebellion. Leather jackets may have been worn by bikers for protection, but they were quickly adopted by rock musicians (from Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, The Beatles to Elvis) as an endorsement of their outsider status.

h/t: dangerousminds, flashbak


While fashions changed in the 1960s to soft denim and psychedelic colors, the black leather jacket never lost its iconic status as edgy, radical and subversive. The black leather jacket of the revolutionary students in Paris in 1968, became the fashionable uniform of the chaotic Baader-Meinhof, before returning to its spiritual home in the form of the matching outfits of proto-punk rockers The Ramones.


Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy made the black leather jacket de rigueur for punks, and soon became the latest fashion sold by a canny Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren in their London boutique SEX.


Teenagers across the UK bought cheap black leather or faux leather jackets and decorated them with the names of their favorite bands, political slogans, or mini manifestoes written in White Out, paint, or nail polish. There was a naif art to such DIY accessorizing, a uniqueness that encapsulated the essence of punk (its ability to offend) and the character of the jacket’s owner.



If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

Apollo 70: Airstream Bar On Wheels For Awesome Cocktail Parties
A Basketball Court Was Styled as a Malevich Painting in Paris
The Craziest, Funniest, And Least Fashionable T-Shirts In Asia. Seriously.
Street Artist Incorporates His Matching Little Brown Dog Into His Living Bronze Statue Routine
This Woman Paints on Horseshoe Crabs
Russian Craftsman Makes Stunning Wooden Zippo Lighters
The Simpsons Meets Fine Art in Amazing Mash-Ups
Russian Artist Perfectly Recreated Mutt Cutts Van From "Dumb And Dumber"
These Animal Rings Come Alive When 3 Pieces Are Put Together
An Instagram Account Of Fine Art Portraits Of Black People Throughout The Centuries
The LSD Archive At The Institute Of Illegal Images
Outstanding 80s Hairstyles That You Can Almost Smell The Aqua Net Hairspray
This Is Supercool 3D Printed Jesus Mecha Christ Transformer
Before The Dirt: The Cars Of Mad Max Fury Road
"Refreshing Journey:" Chinese Bus Turned Into 'Swimming Pool'
Incredible Sculptures Made Out Of Folded Paper Inspired By The 3D Characters Created In Video Games
Working From Home Has Never Been Easier With This Office-Tent
Amazing Surreal And Tribal Backpacks By Konstantin Kofta
Artist Crafts Genius Functioning Mini Interior Dioramas in His Walls
Hundreds Of Local Indian Artists Painted The Forgotten Railway Station With The Famous Traditional Artwork
Artist Creates 12 Crazy Shoes For 12 Ex Girlfriends
Japanese Artist’s Charcoal Skulls Are Perfect For A Macabre Barbecue
Artist Creates Remarkable Sculptures From Driftwood He Found On The Beach
Artist Janis Miltenberger Creates Incredibly Intricate Glasswork Inspired By Mythology