If you're interested in purchasing one for yourself, check out the Heron A-1 here.
The overall ordering process was a pleasure and production time met the projected estimate for both jackets. Overall, it was only a few short months between placing the order online, working through measurements, fit and preferences to the time I received each jacket.
Before delving down a bit on the jackets I ordered, I wanted to provide some background as to what motivated me to invest in a Himel, or two. I have always been fond of jackets with pedigree, history, and quality craftsmanship. A jacket that I would be to pass down as I would be to wear. I had spent four years researching the best jacket makers out there, across multiple platforms, in order to come to the decision that Himel Bros would be able to meet all of my expectations in terms of what I look for in an heirloom quality jacket. Since I love aviation, turn of the century workwear, Shinki horsehide, and unique jacket patterns, I decided I needed to place an order for both a Heron and a Wolverine.
Part of the X-Factor that goes into each Himel jacket is, in my opinion, directly attributable to the time Dave personally takes with his clients to get to know them a bit better via phone call (at a time convenient to the client). Dave does this so he can better understand the client’s background and interests and he then is able to incorporate this into the construction of the jacket. The end result is not only a jacket that is spectacular in fit, function and aesthetic, but a jacket that represents the wearer’s lifestyle, background and interests.
In terms of fit, it is perfectly tailored to me. The medium brown Shinki horse hide is soft to begin and comfortable to begin with and while it is still breaking in, the fact that it is buttery soft allows me free range of movement out of the box.
The Heron feels great to put on, a total pleasure to wear and both the design and craftsmanship exceeded my expectations. I opted to upgrade by adding new old stock, 1930s or so, hardware which exude that pedigree and history I love and adds lots of character to the jacket.
I also opted to upgrade the lining to the blue window pane pattern Merino wool option. The lining is absolutely perfect, substantial but not too heavy or warm, which is great for southern California weather.
I also opted for caramel brown, contrast buttons and their look gives the Heron that ultimate vintage, classic look I wanted.
Finally, the color, smell, character and weight of the Shinki is beyond beautiful and changes color slowly over time to a slightly more subdued tone, but with an increased character.