In Italy, the leather jacket originally created as an item of military clothing is known as a “chiodo”. The story goes that it was the favourite garment of aviation ace Manfred von Richtofen, aka the Red Baron. Low-waisted, weather-proof and long-lasting, the jacket was launched on the US market 90 years ago by Irving Schott. It was 1928 and he named the jacket Perfecto, like his favourite cigar, distributing it through his company, Schott NYC. It was taken up at the end of the 1940s by bikers because it was perfect for riding a motorcycle: the side zip provides protection from wind and rain, while the snap fasteners block the lapels as the rider accelerates. Since then, the chiodo has been an iconic item for bikers, also assisted by its success in the 1953 movie “The Wild One”, where Marlon Brando plays an indomitable biker.
The success of the jacket subsequently spilled over from film sets to fashion runways, experiencing a series of “revivals” over the decades as it was updated in line with changing tastes and trends. It is popular among women too, including many celebrities. This year, to mark its 90th anniversary, the chiodo makes a powerful return among fashionistas.
So which brand should you choose? You can’t go wrong with the Moto Guzzi model: a heritage of the biker community, the iconic garment now has a leading role on the city streets. With the Moto Guzzi Chiodo Uomo (for man) and Chiodo Donna (for woman) models, the legendary leather jacket takes on new life, benefiting from the construction knowhow of technical garments without the constraints of its original protective function; rather, it assumes the role of iconic biker-style jacket “Made in Mandello” (the Italy birthplace of Moto Guzzi), getting off the motorbike and staking out its place on the high street, true to the spirit of freedom, courage and pride of the Eagle brand.
The Chiodo Uomo is a reference to the archetypal Perfecto, its appeal strengthened by such powerful details as raw-cut edges and the elimination of the belt.
Here, the unmistakeable style of the leather “chiodo” is enhanced by the great care taken in the choice of material (nappa lamb leather) and attention to details like the nickel-plated zippers and the snap fasteners with lasered Eagle logo. An evergreen item that is comfortable and gives its wearer a strong decisive look: a “perfecto” jacket on and off a Moto Guzzi bike. She could even combine it with a floaty floral-print dress, as top stylists suggest. Everyone loves the “chiodo”!
The items in the Moto Guzzi clothing and accessories collection are available from authorised dealers and at the Motoplex flagship stores worldwide.