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The Godfather of Leather Jackets – Jeff Hamilton

The Thread

Jeff Hamilton, Born in Morocco, later moving to Paris as a young boy. Established himself with ease in the fashion industry, despite only arriving in the United States with 6,000$ to his name. He broke on to the scene as the founder and creative designer of the first men’s line for Guess Jeans. Later, transitioning to designing his infamous leather jackets. This marked the beginning of a journey spanning almost four decades and counting, during which he has become one of the most iconic and sought-after jacket designers for celebrities, athletes, and musicians worldwide.

Supreme FW22

“Fast Forward 40 years later….Even at the all star game, Jordan Clarkson said in a an interview that he was digging into all the vintage stores in search of an original Jeff Hamilton Jacket”

Jeff Hamilton said when asked about the way that he has continued to stay at the forefront of NBA fashion

“I never did it as, ‘I’m doing,’ ‘I’m creating a piece of art,’ I was doing it just from love and business.”

Check out the rest of the interview @Thatssomavin on TikTok and Instagram and any of the BidStitch socials

When he started at Guess jeans he designed a men’s line for them, paying upfront in order to gain access to a commission-based deal. He eventually was forced out of his licensee deal and started to experiment with leather jackets, this is where it all took off. He originally didn’t want to make the jackets; they took too much time and precision to mass produce. But once word got out about his craftsmanship the phones wouldn’t stop ringing. Magic Johnson and Michael Jordon where some of the first NBA star athletes that started the craze. eventually whole teams started coming in and asking for jackets and before he knew it he had licenses with most of the Major American Sports Leagues

The Jackets exploded worldwide and before Hamilton knew he had all of the greatest stars of the decade wearing his jackets. Hamilton’s NBA relationship spawned almost out of nowhere. The first NBA player that wanted a leather jacket was Reggie Theus, who played for the Sacramento Kings at the time. Theus was so impressed by the Jacket that he called his good friend Magic Johnson to rave about the craftsmanship and quality of the leather. Magic not wanting to be shown up instantly commissioned one for himself and word started to spread like wildfire. Before long all of the NBA’s biggest stars where wearing Hamilton’s jackets. Hamilton has been a licensee with the NBA since 1988, In 1997 the NBA commissioned him to make the iconic 50th anniversary jackets. Hamilton always  reciprocated the love, Never missing a finals game that Jordan has ever played in.

Kobe who had a great relationship with Hamilton, was responsible for one of if not the most iconic photo in the NBA.

Hamilton’s custom one-of-a-kind jackets have made a significant impact in popular culture and are donned by an array of celebrities across various industries. His journey as a designer has been impressive, starting from his early days designing for Guess Jeans to becoming one of the most sought-after jacket designers worldwide. Despite initially not wanting to produce leather jackets due to the time and precision required, Hamilton’s exceptional craftsmanship gained popularity quickly, particularly among NBA players like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. His long-standing relationship with the NBA and iconic celebrities and artists like Drake, Madonna, and the Rolling Stones. Has further cemented his legacy in the fashion and sports industries. Hamilton’s influence on the fashion industry and his custom jacket designs continue to make an impact today, and his attention to detail and unparalleled craftsmanship are a testament to his success

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