International Women's Day: How Women Shaped The Meaning Of Leather
International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, globally. The day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements and/or rally for women's equality.
At BODA SKINS, we celebrate IWD all year round, so today we've taken a closer look into how women have shaped the meaning of leather.
As the popularity of leather has grown, so have the women wearing it.
1950's: LEATHER WAS REBELLIOUS
In the 1950's leather jackets were seen as the most rebellious things for women to wear. According to Harley-Davidson, the perfect female fit came in the form of the "Ladies Companion Jacket" in 1954.
The jacket still had the same masculine features, but it had been tailored more specifically for the ladies. During this time, figures such as Brando or Dean were thriving in a sea of roomy, and heavily-pocketed leather jackets that would soon become iconic in female history.
For the women who dared to wear the leather jacket during this time, you have to look no further than Sandy in 'Grease'. As the movie was set in the '50s, it shows a clear representation of what it was like to rock the Female Companion Jacket at this time.
1960's: BRITISH "MOD" SUBCULTURE CAME TO PLAY
During the 1960's, the leather jacket was known to have been famous with the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
The women saw this, however, and turned it into their own thing. Following the wave of 1950's biker films, women were inspired to be themselves. This lead to the popularity of female biker culture sky-rocketing - female fashion shifted after this.
Women began to ignore the ideas of how society thought they "should" dress, and began to rebel against the norms. This meant looks of head-to-toe in black, with stunning leather jackets.
1970's: WOMEN WERE THE REAL ROCKSTARS
In the 1970s, leather jackets were most commonly seen on the backs of men like Fonzie or members of the Hells Angels, who were varying degrees of cool and hugely dangerous. But when women wore leather jackets, the subversive nature of them proudly wearing this tough guy look was seen as 'sexy'.
By the end of the decade, female members of Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and Blondie were regularly photographed wearing pin-covered leather jackets to signal that they were both tough and cooler than you will ever be.
1980's: MADONNA BEGAN TO CHANGE THE WORLD
In the 1980s, the jacket went from merely signifying "sexy" or "badass" to being a staple for anyone and every woman, from a pop star to a soul songstress to a punk kid. The jacket couldn't define the woman, but the woman could definitely define the jacket.
Madonna wore leather for her 1986 music video for "Papa Don't Preach", and even before, earlier in the decade, powerful women in music like Tina Turner had started favouring the leather jacket as well.
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Madonna gave women power: she gave more than just dance hits, she created a change that saw the brith of hundreds of new female pop stars around the globe, and fashion statements that will last for decades to come.
1990's: LEATHER BECAME THE NORM
In the 90's, the jacket was just another item of clothing that they could wear without much of a stir.
You could purchase a leather jacket at your local department store, and during this time, there were women that made the leather they wore quite iconic.
Cher began to wear leather, too, stapling the fabric as a world-leader for women's fashion. She was seen wearing leather for her iconic record "Turn Back Time".
2000's: LEATHER SIGNIFIED REAL CLASS
The most important women in the world were all rocking leather during the 90s. After the fabric began to move from the realms of every day fashion, it quickly moved into a more luxury space.
Actress and singer, Alicia Keys, being one of the main figures that regularly wore the iconic style. Her connection to the streets of New York created an undeniable attachment to the city and black leather.
Her single, "Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart", exemplified the solidarity of her look, while staying relatable within the New York streets.
TODAY: LEATHER MEANS POWER
Now, in 2021, leather evokes different connotations than it once did. Over the last decade, we've seen it evolve into a material that portrays class, wealth and power.
Leather is worn by the biggest and most influential women on the planet: from athletes, to politicians, leather is a symbol of power and independence.
Leather has now become a symbol of class, and as a leather jacket lasts a lifetime, female-power continues to blossom in line with it.
WOMEN AT BODA SKINS
Here at BODA SKINS, we celebrate International Women's Day all year round. As masters of our trade in the world of leather, our products, and community wouldn't be the same without our ladies working behind the scenes.
Here's what some of the women at BODA SKINS had to say:
"We are predominantly a female team here at BODA SKINS. Each and everyone of us work incredibly hard to build and grow a brand that we're proud of. We support, empower and encourage each other on a daily basis, and our success is testament to incredible strength and determination. The possibilities are endless when you're surrounded by positivity. We have learnt there is no limit to what we can accomplish, together."
Georgie Williams, Head of eCommerce + Marketing
"At BODA SKINS, we recognise how important gender parity and equality is in the workplace. Our team is very diverse, and we're proud to have a team that is so passionate about this cause. Females form the majority of our leadership team, but it is the spirit and our family ethos which means we can all be successful and empower each other every day."
Ashley Waring, Managing Director