Welcome, visitor, to the new Himel Bros. Leather blog and news section. If you’re new to the brand, thanks for going out of your way to find us. If you’re an old hand, thank you so much for your continued support. We hope we can repay your trust by offering you an array of promotions, discounts, and with the continuation of our industry-leading manufacturing quality.
Although our new website has been online for a few months, now, I’d like to consider this moment its official inauguration, as it will now play host to regular writings from David Himel, himself. David hasn’t kept a regular blog presence for a few years, since handing off his “Art of Vintage Leather Jackets” blog to a collaborator back in 2012 (that blog is still online, and its archive is an absolute treasure-trove of information about vintage leather design, manufacturing, and marketing).
In order to celebrate David’s nascent return to the blogosphere, I’m going to repost one of his earliest entries from HBL’s prehistory. From the ancient days of 2007, I present:
WHY ENDEVOUR TO TRY AND MAKE JACKETS
Weird. I was sitting around today thinking about my past in academics and art, and starting to doubt why I am trying to go through this process. Why make clothing? there is clearly no money in it, no style left to create. I went for a walk in the giant outdoor shopping mall that is Queen Street West, and looked at the "vintage inspired" designs that proliferated the shelves from boots and bags to jackets and jeans.
I relived all the design pieces I have sold to xxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxx and all the other companies that have dissected these pieces like Dr. Frankenstein to recreate this re constructivist fashion that proliferates like a Maoist uniform in the retail world. Sometimes it overwhelms me when I see new fashion because after so many years in schmata I see all the little bits and pieces ripped from their offspring, a pocket from this jacket and a collar from that jacket.
What did I learn? Well my thoughts turned to Japan where they continually recreate identical copies, both in style and form of all things vintage (1900 to 1975). IS THERE ROOM FOR ME?
Epiphany: I want to carry on the traditions of those dead and gone Jews who designed with utility and beauty... as though corporatist fashion crapola never appeared and then exported the whole industry to slave labour in Asia. I want to extend the hand of my grandfather and his brothers, picking up where my father left the gap to go on to medicine. Let’s hope this goal is possible and I hope it is lofty as well cause if it is a mediocre desire, I suspect it will end in disappointment.
Note: names of other brands have been redacted.
At the risk of rambling, I’d like to reaffirm the Himel Bros. mission: to make sure each and every person can own “One Good Thing.” That means a garment, an object, in which form and function are one—something beautiful because it’s made well, and made well because it’s beautiful.
From all of us at Himel Bros., we’d like to thank you again—we make the clothes, but you carved the niche where we reside.
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How to order a custom jacket:
This is a brief explanation of how to order a custom Himel Bros. leather jacket. Many jacket buyers will have previous experience with tailoring or may own other custom pieces, and as a result have a very clear picture of their style and size. The following fitting primer is written for the first time buyer.
Selecting your style:
Think about your fashion style. If you ask your friends, they’ll probably be aware of your look and style. Are you classic, a sportsman, a rockstar, a motorcyclist or maybe a hero? Each Himel Bros. jacket has an iconic look ranging from staid to outrageous. When selecting a jacket it’s important to take careful consideration of what works best with body type and your personal style. The Heron, for example, has a looser fit and suits the widest range of body types, whereas the motorcycle styles are slimmer, and best suited to an athletic body type. Typically, most people can be grouped into three main body types: the average build, the muscular build, and the husky build. Our jackets are built for an average build, so it is important that if you are muscular or husky that you include that in a note. We of course ask for photos in a tight t-shirt front and side to assess your posture and build.
Selecting your size:
Once you have been through our instagram and social media and have settled on your desired style, the next step is finding your correct size. There are two important factors to consider in this process: your body size and jacket size. Your chest measurement corresponds to our stock size. For most people this is all you will need. If your chest measurement under your armpits is 40 inches you will wear a size 40 jacket. We have a video that shows you how to do it yourself, or you can see your local tailor (the first timer will likely need to do this). It is important to assess your arm and waist measures as well. Consider if you are average or if you have monkey arms or a big belly as any unusual proportions will have to be addressed through the ordering process. Below we offer a diagram you can have filled in by a local tailor or a friend with a measuring tape. For a first timer with an average build, our stock sizes are usually sufficient, so when in doubt stick with that.
If you are concerned about fit and still not confident as to your correct size, you also have the option to ship us a properly fitting jacket and we’ll build-up your jacket from that. Ideally the jacket you send us will be of a similar style to the one you’re ordering (leather jackets obviously are best for this purpose). Before you ship us your jacket, make sure to take pictures of youself wearing it so we can assess fit: at minimum we require a side shot and a front shot. Then arrange at your cost to ship the jacket to Himel Bros. Please note this on the order in the notes section. Your jacket will be shipped back with your new bespoke Himel Bros. jacket.
For the more particular or tailored order, you can send us very specific measurements. For example some gentlemen have thicker wrists or lift weights and require a different flatter shoulder slope or wider cuff. If off the rack jackets pop up on the shoulders it is usually due to a muscular posture and you should let us know. So in our video you can use measurements from a similar jacket in style to the one you are ordering. Of course we would appreciate pictures of you in that jacket front and side if you are using measurements from an actual jacket. Review the illustrations throughout this website that detail where to measure to provide us with accurate measurement for your custom jacket. It is not required to give us all the measurements, just the ones you want changed. Any specific custom measures or features you wish on your jacket we will need them in advance and in a note when you order.
Picking your leather:
We provide lots of information about our leather types, colours, finishes and characteristics. The order page gives you all the available options. For anything else you will have to email us in advance of ordering. Our instagram feed shows lots of examples of our custom jacket orders.
Picking thread colour, liners and special features:
We offer images and descriptions of all our liners, threads, buttons and zips. Generally each style comes with its stock options on buttons and zips, however you can chose your liner and thread. If you like to showcase our superior sewing techniques contrast thread is the best option. If you like a flashy liner or prefer something more more staid we have options for you. Extra pockets or other options are possible it is best to email us in advance. You can even choose between brass or nickel silver hardware.