Cult Leather Icons Through The Decades

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Leather first entered the modern clothing world in the shape of bomber jackets, worn by members of the military during the Second World War. In the 1950s, the very same leather jacket reached Hollywood – and from there the hearts of millions of movie and fashion lovers. From that moment being part of popular culture, leather hasn’t stopped being an icon and a constant protagonist of the fashion world, still going strong these days.

It’s a symbol of rebellion and high fashion at the same time, loaded with character and grit and always present in different shapes, we retraced the history of leather through its cult characters from the 50s until today.

Motorcycle Jacket worn by Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’ (1953)L1

From being an army exclusive to riding on top of all-macho motorcycles, this jacket charmed thousands of teenagers, making it the number one fashion piece and a pure and simple status symbol.

Skin-Tight Leather Pants worn by Olivia Newton-John in ‘Grease’ (1978)L2

Not just young guys were charmed by the everlasting trend. Olvia Newton-John’s outfit became a symbol of the typical good girl gone bad; after being a nice girl for most of the box office success and cult movie ‘Grease’, her character Sandy shows up all grown up and wearing some leather trousers which, reportedly, had to be sewn on her legs. 

Leather Flight Jacket worn by Maverick in ‘Top Gun’ (1986)L4

A throwback starring the traditional bomber, Tom Cruise’s leather jacket is covered in military badges and ranks. His aviator glasses also are still a widely used fashion item.

Madonna in the 80sL5

Madonna, presenter at the American Music Awards in 1985, showed up sporting a manly leather jacket and her pop-rockstar signature look. In this photo she was just starting to become one of the most famous music and culture icons of the century.

Grungy Drew Barrymore in ‘Poison Ivy’ (1992)L3

The quintessential bad girl, Ivy is the best character to rock this grungy look. Young Barrymore is still a fashion inspiration for every 90s lover.


It might be more high fashion than grunge, but leather is still part of our favorite contemporary styles, and it seems like this is not going to change anytime soon. From Alexa Chung to Kate Moss, also our beloved fashion-related role models can sport it in unique ways.

photo courtesy: Pinterest

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