Fashion is an outlet for expression, both cultural and personal. It is the main focus of countless magazines and television shows, and it shapes so much of society. From shopping centers to runways to everyday interactions and walking down the street, the world of fashion has an interesting grasp on how people see and interpret one another. There are some who are more devoted to the fashion scene than others, some who claim to want nothing to do with it, but the fact is that almost everyone pays attention to fashion in some way, whether to avidly adhere to the latest trends or in order to make a statement by avoiding those trends.
From necessity to decoration
Of course, fashion has not always been the main focal point of how we clothe ourselves. Go far enough back into our history and you will find that what was chosen as the garments of the day were more about warmth, comfort for travel or hunting, camouflage, or basic survival. But as societies developed into modern civilizations and we were able to enjoy the luxuries of life instead of just surviving, clothing and accessories became more about art and expression, a way to show the world how you feel or what you admire. And in this transition over the centuries, of necessity to decoration, there are some elements that remained, morphing as their purposes did. Leather is one of those elements.
From leather belts for men and women to satchels and shoes
Leather has been used in many forms for centuries. It is one of the first materials that our ancestors utilized for clothing as well as for accessories, and incorporated into tools, household elements, and in many everyday operations. Today, though there are still plenty of practical uses for the material, it has been well integrated into the fashion world, and continues to be a textile of choice as it stands the test of time.
Leather coats and shoes are highly sought after items, but just about any accessory can be made using the popular material. Whether it be leather keychains, leather messenger bags, leather belts for men and women alike, or any number of other items, it does not seem that leather will stop being useful any time soon. The desire and demand for it is far too high.
Handling fine leather goods
Real, high quality leather is durable and versatile, but requires proper, specific care. It can easily absorb grease and oils, which are often found on our hands. Fashion clothing and accessories as well as everyday household items or decorations that are made from leather should be cleaned every six months, or even more frequently, if necessary, in order to condition the leather and protect it from getting soiled or spotting from water or other contaminants.
Growing and continuing trends
Fashion is always changing, but it often borrows from the past, reinventing old looks or bringing vintage items back into style. Leather has pretty consistently been used for clothing in some way over the years, from leather belts for men to leather shoes for women, vice versa and everything in between. In fact just in one year, the product shipments of leather belts for men and women were valued at about $92 million.
In so many places you look throughout history, in fashion or otherwise, you can see the use of leather. From General Patton’s aviator jacket in World War II to James Dean’s signature look in the 1950s with his black leather jacket, and into the 1980s when multiple European designers such as Versace, Armani, and Gucci included leather looks in their designs, the continued presence of the material in our culture shows its significance. It is useful, durable, versatile, and the fashion world has decided it is a good look.