BMG Blog

  • A Biker and his White T-Shirt.

    Posts

    Strength in Simplicity:
    The White T-shirt

    Ever since Marlon Brando and James Dean burned their way both onto the big screen and into popular cultural consciousness in the early Fifties, the white t-shirt and jeans look has been synonymous with the Hollywood rebel.

    Brando came first with A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and The Wild One (1953) before Dean confirmed the trend in Rebel Without A Cause (1955). Between them, these leading men changed the perception of what was cool.

    The plain white crew-neck t-shirt and jeans ensemble became a timeless classic, immune to the shifting tides of fashion, conferring immediate personality on its wearer without him having to do or saying anything – just as the suit does at the business end of the sartorial spectrum.

    Jeans and t-shirts are everyday casualwear now, but until the Fifties, this look was very much a working-class signifier. Only men who did manual labour – who worked on construction sites or tinkered with engines – wore denim and stripped down to reveal their undershirts. Then, in the wake of World War II, a wave of soldiers returned wearing their army-issue white t-shirts as outer garments, as a symbol of manhood, of getting things done, of strength and industry.

    Inspired by those pioneering pin-ups for a new generation, Brando and Dean, Fifties kids began to go against the prim-and-proper Sunday-best suits and dresses of their parents’ generation. For the first time dressing down was cooler than dressing up. The teenager was born – and the t-shirt was their uniform. Each tribe could interpret the blank canvas of a white tee for its own purposes. Beatniks like Jack Kerouac wore them to show their disdain for proper society – as did greasers and bikers and rock’n’rollers.

    But more than anyone, Dean was the Hollywood poster boy for this new movement, especially after his tragically early death in 1955, aged just 24. The trailer for his final film, Giant, released posthumously, calls him ‘the star who became a legend, who spoke for the restless young as no one has before or since’. That description – and all those nonchalant, defiant images of him that live on – still holds up 60 years later.

    Other icons soon followed. Elvis Presley idolised Dean, appropriating elements of his look – not least the workwear – and took up acting in an attempt to follow in his footsteps. Later, John Travolta in Grease and Henry Winkler as 'The Fonz' would also give this rock’n’roll rebel look the thumbs-up.

    US actor Steve McQueen
    US actor Steve McQueen (R) takes a break during the international motorcycle race "Six Days" at Erfurt, German Democratic republic (GDR) in 1964. McQueen rode a Triumph with the number "278". Photo: Dieter Demme/Alamy

    In 1955, the photographer Eve Arnold captured a young, enraptured up-and-comer in the Actors Studio – the only one in the audience dressed casually in jeans and white tee. His name: Paul Newman. Throughout the Sixties and Seventies, Newman and Steve McQueen were the custodians of cool. Men wanted to be them; women wanted to be with them. And almost every photograph taken of them is afforded an ageless quality by the simplicity of what they’re wearing. Their look is as fresh today as it was back then. Just ask David Beckham.

    Importantly, young women also embraced the liberating casualness of jeans and tees. Some of the most iconic and photographed stars in the world – from Grace Kelly and Brigitte Bardot to Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe – helped to feminise this look. And modern-era rebels such as Kate Moss and Lana Del Rey keep it alive today.

    Just as a well-cut tee can flatter the well-upholstered male frame – think Clint Eastwood in Every Which Way But Loose (1978) or Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (2013) – so contour-hugging cotton tucked into high-waisted jeans helps to accentuate a woman’s hourglass figure.

    The white-tee-and-jeans combo was, is and always will be a visual shorthand for free-spirited youth and rebellious cool.

  • Belstaff Partners in New Motorcycle Film.

    FILM PREVIEW:
    “THE GREASY HANDS PREACHERS”

    After a successful world premiere at the 2014 San Sebastian International Film Festival, “The Greasy Hands Preachers” makes it’s worldwide debut. Belstaff is proud partner of the documentary film, executively produced by Orlando Bloom. The film explores a modern day return to manual work through the passion of motorcycle enthusiasts around the world, shot entirely on Super 16mm.

    WATCH THE FULL FILM NOWShot across California, Utah, Indonesia, Spain, Scotland and France, filmmakers Clement Beauvais and Arthur de Kersauson capture mechanics and custom shop founders as they try to understand the difference between manual and intellectual work. “The Greasy Hands Preachers” explores the unique satisfaction that results from doing something tangible, the sense of time, the relation between the form and the function, the joy of riding in a beautiful landscape and the community and friendship that motorcycle creates. For that, Belstaff is honoured to support and represent such a passionate and free-spirited collective.

  • These Boots are made for Riding..

    Posts

    A walk on the wild side:
    biker boots

    In 1953, on the release of The Wild One, Johnson Motors, US importers of Triumph motorcycles, protested at its product being linked with Marlon Brando and his Black Rebels. However, the association has served them well – sixty-two years after it was released, the film is iconic and continues to encapsulate the image of rebellion. From the opening asphalt-level shot of the road to the palpable ennui of Brando’s character Johnny Strabler, it captures a strand of cool that has lost none of its power in the intervening six decades.

    The Wild One, Marlon Brando
    The Wild One, Marlon Brando, 1954. Photographer - Everett Collection/REX.

    Motorbikes remain cool, Triumph bikes remain cool, aviator shades remain cool, blue jeans remain cool, black leather jackets remain cool and, crucially, biker boots remain cool. But, of these elements, it’s the bikes and the boots that remain immune to the dilution that affects most of youth culture’s totemic items. Both bikes and boots require a level of commitment that separates the men from the boys: any man can wear jeans at the weekend; it takes a bit more to ride a bike. The boots that Brando wore in The Wild One, and which formed the blueprint for biker boots, are the classic American engineer model, with stacked heels and long straps.

    Only two elements in the film have dated. The first, and most obvious, is the music. The jazzy score by Leith Stevens and Shorty Rogers seems jarring now jazz has been largely drained of its rebellious connotations – the American composer Elmer Bernstein once observed that jazz was only employed in movies ‘when someone steals a car’. Motorbike gangs, and the biker boots they wear, are now indelibly associated with rock’n’roll, and it’s an association that runs both ways. Over the years, rock musicians, including Iggy Pop, have taken as much credibility from biker boots as they’ve given back. The second element that has dated is the cut of the clothes. To our contemporary eyes, Strabler’s denim looks rather loose – and biker boots look best with slim jeans.

    This is partly down to the way the bikes have developed over the years. While big American motorbikes (and it always comes back to the bike) lend themselves to big chunky boots, lightweight European bikes call for something sleeker. As a result, classic British boots work particularly well with slim jeans, as is frequently demonstrated by rock musician and Kate Moss’s husband Jamie Hince. By pairing the boots with slim jeans, a tight t-shirt and a battered leather jacket, he follows in the footsteps of musicians going back to the punk era. One of the appealing things about biker boots is that, unlike sneakers, they cannot be co-opted into a formal outfit. The image of biker boots is too potent to be watered down.

    The world Johnny Strabler rebelled against is fading in the collective memory, even if his image persists, but a half-century after The Wild One instigated one epoch of youthful rebellion, the 2006 film V For Vendetta captured the new mood of post-millennial protest and activism. Its dark backdrop owes nothing to Johnny’s America, yet some of the symbols used to indicate the central character’s outsider status are the same – Hugo Weaving’s iconic character, V, wears Belstaff’s Trialmasters, proving that biker boots still retain their currency as signifiers of cool.

  • Voted one of the Top 5 Vintage Motorcycle Jackets in the World by Bike EXIF

    Vintage jacket by British Motorcycle Gear
    British Motorcycle Gear (BMG) Montana One of the most highly-rated vintage-style motorcycle jackets we’ve come across in our travels. The leather is a supple 1.2-1.4mm grade ‘A’ semi-aniline cowhide, and the Montana also comes as standard with CE Level 1 Knox shoulder and elbow armour. (CE Level 2 certified back armor costs an additional $39.95.) It’s also fitted with chunky YKK zippers and has pre-curved sleeves with rotated shoulders. With an MSRP of $399 the Montana is the cheapest of the jackets listed here. Because it can be kitted out with full armor, it’s a popular choice in the UK—and in much of the English-speaking motorcycle-riding world too.

  • British Motorcycle Gear will be at the BMW National Rally in Billings Montana

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  • Belstaff Waxed Leather Tourist Trophy Jacket New for 2015

    Belstaff Tourist Trophy Jacket 2015 line lands in March.

     

     

    The iconic Tourist Trophy jacket is updated for legitimate protection on the open road, with removable elbow and shoulder protection that meets European CE safety standards for motorcycle protection. In hand-waxed bull leather with a vintage treatment, this jacket not only protects against impact but checks off your aesthetic requirements too. Wear this legendary four-pocket design, with slanted left chest pocket for easy access when on the bike, and feel the authenticity Belstaff's moto heritage accompany you on every adventure.

     

    • Removable protective inserts on shoulders & elbows D30 & pocket for additional back protector

    • Safety standards of protective inserts: European directive 89/686/CEE & CE Technical Standard EN 1621-12:2015Buckle cover to prevent scratching on bike

    • Bovine waxed leather: 1-1.1mm thickness

    • Cotton check lining

    • Zip fastening with poppered cover & waist buckle

    • Corduroy-lined stand collar with tab fastening

    • 4 storm-proof patch pockets & 1 internal pocket

    • Corduroy-lined cuffs with adjustable popper fastening

    • Underarm metal air vents

    • Reinforcements on shoulders & elbows

    • Embroidered logo to left sleeve

    • Produced in Europe

  • Belstaff has a new following... The Ladies Love it..

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    We have noticed a new surge of Ladies flocking to our booth at all the International Motorcycle Shows. We must say that this makes our day a lot brighter... Hope to see all the usual suspects at the New York International Motorcycle Show Next week.

  • Belstaff Olivers Mount AKA Belstaff Leather Mojave Jacket New Design for 2015

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    The Belstaff Olivers Mount jacket combines a sporty, blouson-style cut with the signature patch pockets of Belstaff heritage, in an amalgamation of essential biker design. Executed in black waxed bull leather that is naturally tanned and drum-dyed with a 1-1.1mm thickness for abrasion resistance, it also presents supreme quality for enhanced comfort. Removable reinforcements on shoulders and elbows meet the requirements of European CE safety standards and employ innovative market-leading technology for the highest quality protection.

    • Removable protective inserts on shoulders & elbows & pocket for additional back protector

    • Safety standards of protective inserts: European directive 89/686/CEE & CE Technical Standard EN 1621-12:2014Last popper in rubber & buckle cover to prevent scratching on bike

    • Bovine waxed leather: 1-1.1mm thickness

    • Removable quilted liner to body

    • Corduroy-lined stand collar with tab fastening

    • 2 storm-proof patch pockets, 2 zip pockets & 1 internal pocket

    • Corduroy-lined cuffs with adjustable popper fastening

    • Reinforcements to shoulders & elbows

    • Embroidered logo to left sleeve

    • Produced in Europe

  • Belstaff Brookland Blousant AKA Belstaff Waxed Mojave Jacket

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    BROOKLANDS BLOUSON

    In Signature 8 oz. Waxed Cotton
    $695

    A classic blouson cut with shorter length to the hip gives this biker jacket a sporty and signature moto feel. With a seam-sealed waterproof membrane bonded to its 8 oz. waxed cotton, a zip-out quilted liner for optional extra on-body warmth, and arm and shoulder protection that meets European CE safety standards for motorcycle protection, the Brooklands gives protection without adding weight. Iconic diamond quilting at the shoulders and elbows adds an iconic design detail that nods to Belstaff's industrial heritage.
    • Removable protective inserts on shoulders & elbows & pocket for additional back protector

    • Safety standards of protective inserts: European directive 89/686/CEE & CE Technical Standard EN 1621-12:2013   D30 Bonded membrane & heat sealed seams for waterproofing

    • Last popper in rubber & buckle cover to prevent scratching on bike

    • UK-sourced 8 oz waxed cotton

    • Zip-in removable quilted body liner

    • Zip fastening with poppered cover & waist buckle

    • Corduroy-lined stand collar with tab fastening

    • 2 storm-proof patch pockets, 2 zip pockets & 1 internal pocket

    • Corduroy-lined cuffs with adjustable popper fastening

    • Underarm metal air vents

    • Quilted reinforcements on shoulders & elbows

    • Logo patch to left sleeve

    • Produced in Europe

  • International Motorcycle Show Kicks off on Friday.. We will be at every show.. Come out and see us.

     

    THE BRITISH ARE COMING! 

     

    2014 -2015 USA Tour Schedule 

    International Motorcycle Show - San Mateo, CA
    October 31 to November 2, 2014
    San Mateo County Event Center
    San Mateo CA

    International Motorcycle Show - Phoenix, AZ
    November 07 to 09, 2014
    Westworld of Scottsdale
    Scottsdale AZ

    International Motorcycle Show - Long Beach, CA
    November  14 to 16, 2014
    Long Beach Convention Center
    Long Beach CA

    International Motorcycle Show - Seattle, WA
    November 21 to 23, 2014
    Washington State Convention Center
    Seattle WA

    International Motorcycle Show - New York, NY
    December 12 to 14, 2014
    Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
    New York  NY

    International Motorcycle Show - Washington, DC
    January 09 to 11, 2015
    Washington Convention Center
    Washington DC

    International Motorcycle Show- Miami, FL
    January 16 to 18, 2015
    Miami Beach Convention Center
    Miami FL

     

    International Motorcycle Show- Dallas, TX
    January 23 to 25, 2015
    Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center
    Dallas TX

     

    International Motorcycle Show- Cleveland, OH
    January 30 to February 1, 2015
    I-X Center
    Cleveland OH

    International Motorcycle Show - Minneapolis, MN
    February 6 to 8, 2015
    Minneapolis Convention Center
    Minneapolis MN

      

    International Motorcycle Show- Chicago, IL
    February 13 to 15, 2015
    Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
    Chicago IL

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"The British Are Coming"

Tour Schedule

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