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CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE JACKET CHANGELESS, EVER IN STYLE; BELOVED ICON OF FREE SPIRITS FROM BIKERS TO CELEBRITIES

 PERTH AMBOY, N.J., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Mel Schott will tell you the black motorcycle jacket may be among the most changeless of fashions -- and most popular. He should know. His family has been making them for 60 years.
 Who wears them? Elizabeth Taylor and Madonna. Jason Priestley and Howard Stern. Goldie Hawn and Jay Leno. Not to mention bikers, truckers and corporate CEOs, said Schott, whose father Irving hand cut the first one in 1928 on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
 "This is the jacket that woos a tough and independent free spirit," said Schott. "But its comfort is what keeps them."
 It hasn't really changed through the years, he said, then admitted, "the snaps have our logo on them now. And, we eliminated stars on the epaulets. We added a change pocket because pockets of tight jeans were hard to get into while biking."
 One thing has changed a lot. The jackets cost $5.50 when Irving Schott made the first for a Harley-Davidson distributor and named it the "Perfecto" after his favorite cigar. They sold for $49 in 1955. Today they retail at about $300.
 But what has never changed is that each one is hand cut and crafted by a team of Schott Bros.' employees here. It is only one of 70 styles of outer garments the company makes.
 "This year more than ever, the navy peacoat is in demand, coast-to- coast," said Schott. "But a sailor who knew it in navy blue in World War II would get a turn at the colors it comes in now."
 Still comfortable, still in melton wool for warmth, the double- breasted peacoat is a unisex garment in red, purple and green, or in camel, oatmeal and gray tweed.
 "And vests are big this year in colors and fabrics from leather and fringe to denim and fabric," Schott said.
 It's Schott's biggest line of vests ever but jackets are at the heart of the business, 350,000 a year, 500 employees, turning $60 million a year.
 "We're doing pretty good for a little business my father and uncle Jack founded in a tenement basement in 1913," Schott said.
 -0- 8/17/93
 EDITORS NOTE: Schott available for interviews. Photos available.
 /CONTACT: Michele Litzky of Litzky Public Relations, 201-222-9118, for Schott Bros. Inc./


CO: Schott Bros. Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: SU:

LV -- NYBFNS2 -- 3350 08/17/93 06:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 17, 1993
Words:400
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