Sunday, 4 October 2009

Brand profile: Schott NYC

The story of Schott NYC is an american success story. In 1913 brothers Irving and Jack Schott, sons of a Russian immigrant, starting making raincoats in a basement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan which were then sold by street peddlers door to door. In just two years, the venture grew enough to open a manufacturing facility in Staten Island, NY where Irving Schott lovingly branded his jackets with the name of his favourite cigar - the Perfecto. By the mid-twenties Schott NYC was making headlines by revolutionising the way we dress for the outdoors - they were the first to put a zipper on a jacket.

The innovation continued and in 1928 Irving Schott designed and produced the first leather motorcycle jacket (above). Retailing for $5.50 the Perfecto was durable, rugged, and immediately embraced. To this new generation of 'Bikers', the Perfecto was a symbol of the excitement, adventure and danger.

Commissioned by the US Army Air Corps at the start of WWII, Irving Schott designed and produced a 'Bomber Jacket' (above) that would serve and protect US pilots as they fought in the air over Europe and the Pacific. And on deck, servicemen kept out the cold with Schott's Melton wool naval pea coat (below). Rugged and warm, these leather and wool jackets would be produced by Schott for the US Military for the next 60 years.

In 1954, the cult movie "The Wild Ones" was released and featured the young actor, Marlon Brando, perched on his motorcycle wearing his Schott Perfecto. The subsequent spike in popularity of the Perfecto surprisingly resulted in decreased sales. The jackets were actually banned by school systems around the US because they symbolized a burgeoning teen demographic, the "hood". Just one year later, the Perfecto was catapulted to the height of its popularity when a love for speed ended the life of the quintessential "hood." It is said that James Dean could hardly ever be seen without his Perfecto - they seemed to be made for each other.

Schott NYC has continued to grow under the leadership of new generations of the family. And at the core of the business still lies the 100 year old factory right of outside of NYC. In an old brick building theta still design and produce the styles that have connected with the American spirit. Schott is dedicated to the ideals of quality, innovation, and individuality that were so important to Irving Schott - and that remain important to every person who buys a Schott jacket.

For our extensive Schott NYC range visit