the ultimate guide to leather jackets

marlon brando, eat your heart out.

all photos by getty images
Yesterday morning I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology's new exhibit Beyond Rebellion, an in-depth look at the history of the leather jacket. As much of an everyday item today as a pair of jeans or Chuck Taylors, the leather jacket's rise to fame was an interesting and subversive one. 

In America, the original motorcycle jacket was manufactured for men by Schott in 1928 (they also started producing ones for women in the '30s), and became famous when Marlon Brando wore one in the film The Wild Ones. Then came the rise of motorcycle gangs, punk rock, Vivienne Westwood, Gianni Versace, and--boom!--the leather jacket was as ubiquitous as a white T-shirt. Fast forward to 2014 when brands like Acne, Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Comme des Garcons have all created masterful interpretations of the iconic piece. 

So in honor of the coolest jacket around, here's the NYLON guide to finding your perfect moto match. Because a Brando-esque Schott Perfecto and a Chung-style jacket are two takes on the trend you need to try.