The History of Schott NYC

by Jamie Wilson
How Jason Schott of Schott NYC Is Driving the Brand’s Made-in-America Heritage

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

As one of the most iconic designers of leather jackets for men, the American powerhouse is steeped in rich history. Read on for the complete history of the brand.

As a brand that’s recently passed its centenary landmark, Schott NYC has proven their place as a true heritage brand in both the US and across the world. Thier iconic Perfecto jacket has remained one of the most popular pieces of outerwear for nearly 1oo years, being donned by celebrities through the decades. This, paired with its superior craftsmanship, has allowed it to maintain it’s status as a leader in an otherwise oversaturated market through the generations.

Read on for the complete history of Schott NYC.

The History of Schott NYC

1913 – 1950

Starting life in a Lower Manhattan basement in 1913, the Schott story is a classic tale of two brothers chasing the American Dream. Kicking off with rain coats and selling them door to door, Irving and Jack Schott quickly made a name for themselves on the busy streets of New York City. Soon after this, Irving was making a name for himself with some of the best leather jackets on the market named after his favourite cigar, the Perfecto – and the Schott brand was born.

By the 1920s the duo revolutionised outerwear by becoming the first people to put a zipper on a jacket. In doing so they managed to create the first ever leather motorcycle jacket. As the world was dragged into its second World War, the Schott brand was commissioned as the official supplier of bomber jackets for airmen and thick wool peacoats for the American men at sea. They went on to produce jackets and coats for the armed forces for the next 60 years.

mens schott nyc bomber jacket history

1950 – 1990

As WWII ended, Schott went onto dominating rock ‘n’ roll and the beginnings of pop culture. Famous actors such as Marlon Brando and James Dean wore their famous Schott Perfecto leather jacket, ultimately making the piece of clothing synonymous with sub-culture groups around America. This carried on through to the 80s when bands like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones donned the Schott leather jackets.

mens leather schott nye marlon brando street style

1990 – Present

In the decades following, Schott NYC’s popularity and sales grew nationally and across the globe as trade became easier and faster than ever. The ‘Made in America’ label quickly garnered world renown as a symbol of quality and style, and with Schott NYC embodying the rebellious movement in America – the sales reflected this popularity.

mens schott leather jacket street style

Now over 100 years old, Schott NYC  is a go-to brand for anyone looking for a more individual and rebellious look. You can bag your own bit of rebellion through their bombers, bikers, peacoats, and men’s shearling jackets. With a history stretching this far back and so full of daring pieces, you know you can trust a brand like Schott to give you that individual style we’re all after.

history of schott nye mens shearling jacket street style

thumbnail_tom-1-800x144“I recently got my hands on a leather jacket from Schott NYC and it’s not hard to see why this remains such an iconic brand. The classic design has stood the test of time and is just as stylish today as it would have been in the 50s.”


thumbnail_charlotte-800x144“For me, Schott NYC have always been about top quality bomber jackets. The combination of a leather jacket with a thick shearling lining makes this a perfect addition to any winter look. Team a Schott shearling jacket with a classic American denim shirt, or a thick knitwear jumper to finish the look.” 


Louise-Headshot“Schott NYC’s ability to innovate whilst maintaining a heritage aesthetic means they will always be a great brand. Their selection of modern field and down jackets is a perfect example of how they’re keeping up with the times. Wear one with a T-shirt and some casual chinos for a modern winter style.”


The History of Schott NYC

  • Starting life in a Lower Manhattan basement in 1913, the Schott story is a classic tale of two brothers chasing the American Dream.
  • By the 1920s this aspirational duo had revolutionised outerwear when they were the first people to put a zipper on a jacket.
  • Schott NYC made the first ever leather motorcycle jacket, retailing at only $5.50.
  • With the likes of Marlon Brando and James Dean wearing the famous Schott Perfecto leather jacket, sales quickly skyrocketed.

mens schott nyc perfecto leather biker jacket street style


While Scott NYC is still very popular to this day, the interesting backstory of how it all came about only adds to the allure. To think of a time when you couldn’t get a zipper on a jacket seems insane,  it’s easy to forget that, even in fashion, there’s always had to be pioneers at some point or another. Fancy picking yourself up a perfect Perfecto Jacket? Head on over to our brand page below to shop the collection.

Feature image from Pinterest

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