Irvine, Calif., Jan. 26—Brand manager of Black Brand Motorcycle Clothing, Howard Kelly, held a press conference Tuesday to launch their new company consisting of motorcycle related products which include everything from jackets and apparel, to helmets, gloves, chaps, and eventually footwear and other products. The conference was held at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, California, where samples of their various products were made available for inspection. “This launch is exciting because having lived in that market for so long, I understand the concept behind this brand,” said Howard Kelly. “There is nothing right now that speaks to people that want quality and a brand that they want to associate with that isn’t a custom-built or a designer thing that’s going to cost two weeks’ salary. This is just a good-quality set of gear that will work for people and that’s what intrigued me about the job in the first place. We’re giving a lot of quality for a very minimal price,” Kelly explained.
The products I checked out were certainly impressive. There were several markers of cutting-edge design and innovation. The jackets included features like D3O Armor for protection and comfort YKK Zippers for durability. The 37.5 Thermal regulating inner liner is designed to wick away sweat, keeping you cooler in hot weather. Included in their Platinum series were jackets like the Fahrenheit KoolTeK which featured top grain leather that is treated to resist the sun’s heat and stay about 20 degrees cooler than traditional leather on a sunny day. And the leather’s 6-year warranty speaks volumes about the confidence in and quality of these jackets. The designs of the various jackets were truly unique and left me wishing I could wear one out of there on the spot. The distressed-looking “Two Lane” jacket was one of my personal favorites. The vests were really cool, too; they even thought to place a zipper along the inside liner so it could be opened while having patches sewn on, preventing the vest from being ruined by stitching through the liner.
Their vast line of women’s jackets included edgy Sheared Beaver and Brazilian Wax jackets. Phil Davy, senior director of apparel brands, explained the origin of the two jackets’ names. “The sheared beaver ladies jacket has high-end material called sheared beaver on the collar and cuffs. A beaver has two layers of fur. The outer layer is kind of really rough, dense, coarse fur. So they shear that off to get to the really soft stuff underneath that, so that’s why it’s called that. Not just because it’s a cool name, because it is a cool name, but that’s what it’s all about. So when we were in the process of making the sheared beaver I was telling someone about the whole idea of the sheared beaver ladies’ jacket, and someone asked, ‘Why don’t you make a jacket and take all the fur off it and call it the Brazilian Wax jacket?’ I said, ‘You’re a genius,’ and we made that jacket as well. We’re trying to create something that’s got an attitude, that’s got an image, but also its quality is the stuff you’d expect to pay full price for. It’s very, very good stuff. We didn’t spare anything on it. Designers always come back to me when I come up with a product and ask me, ‘What’s the target price?’ and for this, I said, ‘I don’t care; we’re going to make the best jacket we can, we’re going to mark it up and that’s the price it’s going to sell for.’ That jacket actually retails for $651 and if it was going to cost more to make it better we would have done it. That’s the kind of crazy stuff we want to make, but we’re also going to have a whole bunch of products that bear the same Black Brand name that aren’t necessarily the $700 jacket. We are going to have the $300 jackets that break up the core of what most of our riders are.”
One of the coolest things about these jackets, chaps, and vests is that Black Brand will make a direct donation to Homes for Our Troops for every article sold. Every jacket, vest, or pair of chaps, will come with a patch sewn inside proclaiming the support of that charity.
Other Black Brand products include a new line of innovative helmets called Black Brand Cheater Helmets, so-named because they look so small they appear to be cheating the DOT laws. The Cheater Series of helmets from Black Brand presents the ultimate, no-compromise solution to mushroom head. The Black Brand Cheater helmets use a combination of multiple shell sizes and in-molded Composite Fusion Technology to give the smallest, safest DOT-approved helmets around. They’re pretty cool. They had some really nice gloves too with the Black Band logo on the strap. The gloves come with a 2-year warranty.
Black Brand will have no printed catalog. Their products can be seen on blackbrandmc.com. The products have been shot in complete 360’s so you can view them from any angle possible. Keep your eye out for their public debut set for March at Daytona through J&P Cycles. And don’t forget your credit card! I felt myself reaching for my wallet a couple of times to buy a Two Lane jacket before realizing that I too have to wait until March to get my hands on my own.