Leather is a fashion staple. Its durable and flexible material is created via a manufacturing process that involves the tanning of animal rawhide and skin.
Historically, due to its excellent resistance to abrasion and wind, leather found a use in rugged occupations in construction workers, cowboys and motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle riders, for example, started wearing heavy leather to protect themselves from road rash and wind blast. There are no substitutes in fabric for leather’s resistance to abrasion and protection. It is the most sustainable form of fabric when it comes to these types of activities.
Perhaps dude to its association with “roughness” and the hunter-animal story of its manufacturing process, Hollywood has associated leather to iconic heroes in Cowboys, Aviators, Car Drivers and Super Heroes.
Leather is also associated to S&M and also sexy bedtime apparel. Leather whips, martinet, etc. Rock bands also have an iconic leather, bad boy look. Luxury cars, chairs and furniture also come in “leather” seating, almost adhering to a “premium” branding material.
Leather in fashion makes a bold statement, and adds roughness to any masculine look. It can be used to men to add masculinity to an otherwise more feminine look, and also by women to add a roughness and masculine to their look.
See more Materials: Calico, Cashmere, Chiffon, Chino Cloth, Corduroy, Cotton, Denim, Fiberglass, Flannel, Fur, Khaki, Leather, Linen, Lycra, Metal(lic) Fibers, Nylon, Polyester, Silk, Snakeskin, Spandex, Wool
Return to the Style Dictionary