David Hellqvist talks leather bike jackets with Lewis Leathers proprietor Derek Harris and photographer Horst A. Friedrichs
When it comes to leather bike jackets, Lewis Leathers is a bit of an authority. The UK-based brand has been around since 1892, but really came to life in the 1950s and 60s as their styles became synonymous with rockers and mods. Since then, after a revamp and new ownership in the early Noughties, the brand and its London shop have evolved into a worldwide destination for people in search of quality leather dripping with attitude. A lot of this is down to the current proprietor and designer, Derek Harris, who’s the driving force behind Lewis Leathers. An avid collector and walking LL advertisement, Harris has not only managed to push and develop his own products, but also collaborate with brands such as Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe.
It was this mixture of attitude and craftsmanship that led photographer Horst A. Friedrichs to turn the lens on biker jackets for his latest book project, Pride & Glory: The Art of the Rockers’ Jacket. With exclusive access to Harris’ personal archive, never-seen-before vintage Lewis Leathers jackets and images of contemporary jackets, the book offers a beautiful insight into the garment’s beauty and mythology. The German-born, London-based photographer’s book is well-deserved moment of glory for Derek Harris and Lewis Leathers; the brand has helped take a product known for youth rebellion and make it a 21st century design classic.
Interview David Hellqvist
Sound Andres Soler