The Vanishing Point horsehide jacket sums up our point of view on what we sell quite nicely. We believe in clothing that wears in, not out; and we want our daily pieces to tell the story of us.
Neil started wearing the sample of this jacket on a trip to pick up a used BMW R1150GS in Denver. From there, he rode to Santa Fe to check our new town and get a feel for the next chapter in the S&S story, then another long haul back home to Oakland. Since then it’s been around the world, and just keeps getting better every day.
It took us a good number of years of being in business to really understand what would make a dream leather jacket for us. The first requirement was that it be horsehide. We love the way horsehide drapes when it’s new and maintains shape when broken in.
Natural veg-tan made up another part of the puzzle for us, as we worked through creating this jacket. Our Wesco Van Cleef series looked amazing worn in, and we wanted to carry that theme through to our first jackets. We’re currently up to the Van Cleef III, the tallest and softest version yet.
Natural veg-tan is the perfect starting point for a jacket that’ll be with you for a lifetime, as it quickly picks up the world around you and continues to gain patina forever. The options for breaking it in are endless — some folks like to hang their jacket up in direct sunlight for a quick darkening effect, some like to immediately rub it down with oil to start the aging process, and others just start wearing the damn thing.
The trims matter too. We chose to use Riri zippers from Switzerland. They’re not cheap, but they are bomb-proof and feel so good when being zipped. We’ve put ball chain zips on the critical pockets so your things stay where they need to be (in your pockets) and not on the highway.
Our partner in building this jacket is Simmons Bilt. Based in Scotland, they took their name from a short-lived leather jacket manufacturer in Oakland from the early 20th century, known for being one of the earliest makers to use zippers for their jackets. The ball-chain zipper pull was a key detail for them that carried through to the Vanishing Point.
Simmons Bilt is now known as one of the best and most flexible leather jacket producers in the world. More importantly, the people behind the name, Steve & Debs are wonderful human beings who care about what they do and have become good friends of ours.
It doesn’t take long for the patina to start to build. The shot above is after just six months of wear, with one treatment of horse oil. It’ll only get better from here. Excess dirt can be cleaned off with a stiff brush and some gentle leather cleaner if you choose, with no damage to the patina. Test in a small area first, just to be sure, as every jacket and every cleaner will work differently together.
A little about the name. Vanishing Pointis a cult classic of a road movie, drafting in the success of Easy Rider.On the surface, it’s a pretty simple movie — Kowalski delivers cars, and makes a bet he can get from Denver to SF in about 15 hours — but with repeated viewings more existential depth is revealed. (If you haven’t seen it, try to get a copy of the UK release. There’s a 7-minute scene in there that completely changes the tone of the film.)