By Wade Thiel
The Man Who Created an Icon
When most people think motorcycle jackets, they think of Marlon Brando in “The Wild One.” That jacket was a design pioneered by a man named Melvin Schott. Most of us know the Schott name, and the jacket is universally recognizable. The double-breasted design, angled zipper, and snaps on the color has defined the typical motorcycle jacket for decades. Unfortunately, Schott passed away at the age of 94, according to RideApart.
Most of the people who know and wear the design don’t actually ride motorcycles. That’s how important the design is. Despite the many fashion jackets sold at a wide variety of apparel companies, the design was originally crafted specifically for motorcyclists by Schott. At the time that Schott created the design, there were few motorcycle-specific jackets out there.
It’s really crazy to think about now because there are so many different kinds of jackets out there. Schott was a visionary. He managed to make a product that influenced American culture for decades. His design continues to do so. It’s sad to see the Schott go, but he did live to be 94, and he managed to live one heck of a life that influenced millions of people in a positive way. I’m sure he’s wearing a kickass jacket in the afterlife.