The Great Escape

Belstaff was founded in England in 1924. The company created waterproof garments for men and women, all with a phoenix logo. During the 30's Belstaff carved a niche in making wind-proof, rain-proof, sturdy clothes for aviators, motor cyclists, and the like. Since that time they continued to evolve and are best known for clothing for motorcycle enthusiasts, amateur and professional. A few years ago the company was bought by an Italian firm and they're trying to move into the world of fashion...last season's ads featured Giselle...this season's, Kate Moss...and stores in London and New York (as well as Italy).

I love classic travel gear, and the associations that it last time I was in London I went to the Belstaff store. Though most of the stock is made up of jackets there are other articles of clothing, footwear and bags. For such an essentially British brand you do feel strangely rich, tanned, and Italian when you put one of the jackets on. Plus, there's comfort in the knowledge that these jackets are only going to get better as they get more broken least that's what I told myself as I bought the jacket below from a very good looking, Italian sales associate.

The reason that I bring all of this up is that this Saturday, Bonhams in LA is holding an auction of property owned by Steve McQueen. Apart from his collection of vintage bikes, and other items there is Lot 64 "A Belstaff motorcycle jacket - Made of black cotton with four frontal pockets, brass button front closure, self-belt and black, blue and white plaid cotton lining; inside label reads "Trialmaster/Professional/by Belstaff/Made in England;" worn by McQueen when motorcycling."

The estimate on the jacket is $2,000-$4,000. For McQueen fans without that much spare cash the catalog, with color illustrations, is available in hardcover for $100 or in softcover for $55 (including postage).


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • Anonymous said...
    2:05 PM
    I bought a Belstaff while in London over the summer. I'm glad my wife talked me into going. One of the coolest things I've ever put on.

  • Anonymous said...
    11:18 AM
    enjoyed your post.
    great article on Belstaff Trialmaster here. in the fashion& style section

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