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History of Women in Pop Culture in an Iconic Denver Leather Jacket

November 14, 2018

Janis Joplin, Elizabeth Taylor, and Brigitte Bardot are a few of the many women that made the leather jacket iconic. It is amazing to see the range of women in love with this fashion trend that would help it culminate into what it is today. Fall in love with your next Denver leather jacket by exploring it’s past, learning about icons, and trends over the decades of this timeless piece. 

History of Women Wearing Leather Jackets

The leather jacket was first introduced into the world of fashion in the late 1920s. Invented by the Schott Brothers for bomber pilots, they soon realized they could transition it into daily wear. And that they did! By the 1950s, after the release of the film “The Wild One,” Americans couldn’t get enough of this edgy, new trend. This was the period when it became a unisex fashion statement, especially in the motorcycling world. 

In 1954, Harley Davidson introduced the “Ladies Companion Jacket.” It was a short leather jacket, cutting off at the top of the waist. Embellished with a thick, black belt and slanted zipper, it was new and different. It conveniently had two small pockets on the left and right sides. It was very similar to the iconic leather jacket Olivia Newton-John wore as Sandy at the end of Grease in 1978. 

Iconic Women 

Over the years, many women of all backgrounds have paved the way for leather. Some of the many women over the decades include: 
  • Brigitte Bardot
  • Debbie Harry
  • Joan Jett
  • Patti Smith
  • Blondie
  • Madonna
  • Grace Jones
  • Tina Turner
  • Pam Grier
  • Liz Taylor
  • Annie Lennox
  • Cher
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez
  • Princess Diana
  • Uma Thurmon
  • Kate Moss
  • Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Ashley Olsen
  • Beyonce
  • Rihanna
  • Cara Delevingne

Trends Over the Decades

Leather jackets were popular for women with a passion for motorcycling in the 1950s. As time went on, it expanded! During the 1960s, androgynous was in. Women filled their closet with black and white pants and shirts, perfect to tie in the jacket. It was the epitome of edgy and cool, expanding out from a pair of simple high waisted jeans and black or white t-shirt. 

As the 1980s rolled in, the leather jacket became a staple to powerful women in pop culture. It inspired women all across the United States to pursue their passions. During this time, icons were making their own tweaks and touches on their jackets, adding in safety pins, patches, and more. Rolling into the 1990s, the leather jacket became a general staple in fashion for women. It was worn by everyone from female rappers and actors to older fashion icons. 

This continued into the 2000s where the jacket could be incorporated into any trend. Whether a woman wanted to have an edgy look with high waisted black, ripped jeans and riding boots, or a piece of flair with an upscale ballgown. 

As you find new ways to add leather to your wardrobe, Jonval Leather and Furs has the best selection in the Denver area. Explore trends in fashion for women from your local leather store in Denver and stop by and see us! We are located at 6880 E. Evans Ave. in Denver.