How to Choose a Leather Jacket - Expertise from Joe Faris of Project Runway!

While I'm still catching up on the season via DVR, fans of Project Runway will recognize designer Joe Faris, who made it all the way to the Bryant Park finale this season. Since Joe is clearly an expert in leather - he works with classic Americana brand Schott, we picked his brain on how to get the perfect leather jacket this fall. Joe says to pay attention to three things...

1. How the jacket makes you feel is the key. The jacket should make a woman feel one of the following: great, sexy, confident, sharp, chic, stylish, elegant or all of them. The jacket should make a man feel one of the following: superb, sophisticated, cool, like a bad ass or in some cases like a 'rock star'.

2. Proportions are most often overlooked when choosing the perfect leather jacket. Look at the jackets shoulders compared to your body shape. Look at the jackets length compared to your height. Look at the jackets detailing i.e. zippers, pockets, snaps, etc. compared to functionality. All of these things should be in harmony with your overall body type. For example, a long jacket can make a short person look even shorter while a wide jacket can make a wide person look wider or even a thin person look wider.

3. Fit is usually determined by the jackets styling. For example, motorcycle jackets and cafe' racer style jackets are designed to fit snug to the body. These looks are also made to be worn as fashion so, fit can be more a matter of fashion versus function or vise versa. Schott’s Perfecto is the perfect example of a well-fitted motorcycle jacket. It is completely functional while its slim cut is very flattering. The jacket should always fit comfortably because if the jacket is comfortable then you will wear it more and the more you wear a leather jacket the more it becomes a part of you.”

  • My favorite fashion trend for both men and women for Spring '09 is the return of light-weight leather. A perforated leather jacket or a leather shirt is the perfect way to dress up your spring outfit. Light weight leather is also a great item to transition from day to evening, especially on those cool spring nights.
  • Schott's new Spring Collection has some great, new, light-weight leather, perforated jackets and leather shirts for men. The brand was an inspiration to me while I was on Project Runway in the sense that I am an outerwear designer as well as a leather wear designer.
  • The first day on the show, when we met Heidi and Tim on the roof top of the Atlas apartments, Tim said to us designers that we had something in common with each other. At the time, I didn't know what he meant by that. Stella and her 'leatha' is something we had in common. I also tried to incorporate some type of outerwear influence in some of the challenges. The Saturn Challenge was the best opportunity for me to do that. To quote Tim Gunn: ‘Joe was definitely in his comfort zone, since he lives in Motor City (Detroit) and designs for Schott. These materials didn't unnerve him! He created an adorable Motocross (by virtue of his use of the Saturn logo) mini-dress using red and black seat cushions and taupe seatbelt insets between the seat cushion pieces. It was a Saturn Vue Hybrid jigsaw puzzle, of sorts, and it was a marvelous success.'


Plasma1 said...

This is a great example of a Vintage Schott Western Fringe Suede Leather jacket. Check it out! The small mark above the right shoulder of the jacket has been removed and is in even better condition. Follow the link or send an email to for images or pricing.