Matchless London Announces Biker Collection Inspired By Russian President

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The Putin-inspired leather jacket by Matchless London
The Putin-inspired leather jacket by Matchless London

For many, turning 65-years old is a momentous milestone that, among other things, means slowing down. For the president of Russia, however, turning 65 is as good a time as ever to jump on his Harley Davidson and cruise across the Motherland. Thanks to British heritage brand Matchless London, he can now hit the gas in a leather jacket inspired by none other than himself.

Designed as part of the brand’s “Heroes Collection,” the $1,699 “Putin” bomber jacket is crafted from innovative hi-tech leather that’s able to resist extreme cold weather, up to minus 40 degrees Celsius. The jacket also features the number 6595 on the sleeve as reference to the distance between the westernmost point (near Kaliningrad at the Russian-Polish border) and the easternmost point of Russia (Naukan on the Bering Strait facing Alaska) as well as celebration of Putin’s 65th birthday, which was on October 7th. The jacket is the first product of a capsule collection that includes cotton and leather parkas, coats, and jackets.

The president of Russia
The president of Russia

“Matchless London is famous for its luxury jackets inspired by real and fictitious super heroes – from Marlon Brando to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Batman to James Bond,” said Manuele Malenotti, the managing director of Matchless London, in a press release. “We consider Russian President Vladimir Putin a modern superhero as well, giving personal respect to his strong character, brutal image, sense of humor, and calmness as a world leader. As a 65-year-old, Putin rides horses, plays ice hockey and practices judo, among other things. This is not the usual routine even for much younger leaders. And yes, he runs Russia, the global super powerhouse.”

Luxury fashion finds inspiration in all aspects of life, but politics as a source of sartorial creativity inevitably sparks controversy. The intersection of fashion and politics is a contentious point, and while fashion has, arguably, always been political, in an increasingly charged political landscape, designers and brands alike are throwing caution to the wind and expressing their beliefs more explicitly than ever.

The back of the jacket
The back of the jacket

Doubling down on the ever-pervasive political consciousness, Matchless isn’t shy about fashion’s role in the context of politics, even when the subject at hand is a polarizing world leader. “Russia is a very strong potential market for a luxury brand,” said Malenotti. “[We’re] very keen to expand there in the forthcoming years. As for it being controversial, my point of view is that fashion is art. Fashion designers are artists [and] politics is a great source of inspiration and debate.”

The entire collection will be available for pre-order in December 2017, and for purchase at the label’s London flagship store starting January 2018.

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