As iconic, essential and timeless a piece as the leather jacket is, the fact is that there are only so many ways you can make it seem novel. In a way that’s part of their enduring appeal, the fact that even when they’re zhooshed up with funky details, interesting textures or unusual shapes, there’s still something utterly recognizable about them. If, however, you’re not easily impressed by the same-old, or you’re the type who likes his classics with a kick, or you’ve simply amassed an entire herd’s worth of leather jackets, there’s hope for you yet. The news in leather? Color. Call it inconsistent if you must, but while once upon a time I stuck to a self-imposed embargo on leather that wasn’t black the increasing number of colored leather jackets on the runways and in stores has me changing my tune. Maybe counting down the days (weeks? months??) until spring has screwed with my perception, but suddenly black leather just looks so…dark. Sure, it looks as cool as ever, and it’s highly unlikely that it’s going anywhere anytime soon, but it’s been done and done at this point. Color, on the other hand; not so much, or at the very least not for a while.

viral fashion 2012 color leather jacket spring summer milan paris new york gucci roberto cavalli simon spurr dsquared emporio armani versace roberto cavalliFor spring 2012 there was a full spectrum of colored skins on parade, from subtle navy blue, to rich peacock green, golden yellow and lipstick red (it’s the only name that can possibly describe such a vivid shade of rouge, so ignore the feminine connotation). These leather jackets, in styles like classic perfectos, banded collar motocross and bomber blousons, looked especially fresh, cool as can be and, unlike a traditional black leather piece, fun. It’s as if the tough edge of a leather jacket is softened just a bit with the injection of some vibrant color. Any of the jackets from the likes of Simon Spurr, Versace, DSquared2 and Emporio Armani are the kind of pieces that fashion forward men crave, something that will stand out in a sea of sameness without looking absolutely and completely bonkers. Believe it or not, that perfect blend is getting harder and harder to find. So be sure to take the hint when it’s being offered, because once you go bright, well, you know what they say.

by Justin Friedman