Eastman Leather Clothing
Eastman Leather Clothing was given life in the southwest of England where it still remains operating today. Beginning in 1984, they pioneered the reproduction of vintage-style leather flying jackets from WWII to levels of quality and authenticity not found anywhere else at that time. Though several high-profile manufacturers were cranking out vintage-style WWII flying jackets back then, quality and authenticity was secondary, with larger markets and more mainstream consumption being the primary focus of the high-profile makers.
We discovered Eastman Leather in 1986 when they only produced generic A-2 and B-3 Flying Jackets, though the quality and authenticity was overwhelmingly impressive even at this nascent stage in the company’s development. Eastman had to decline our inquiry about representation in the USA at the time; they were just two employees and not prepared to produce goods beyond their own retail needs. By 1989, conditions had changed at Eastman Leather, thus we began our long-standing relationship, pioneering the importation of Eastman products to the USA, which included a then-new AN-J-4 sheepskin jacket and a Luftwaffe fighter pilot jacket. And in 1993 we contracted with Eastman to produce a limited-edition A-2 Flying Jacket exclusively for us, which was a copy of an original A-2 Jacket as produced by the Rough Wear Clothing Co. under their Air Corps Purchase Order No. 1401-P dating from 1941. This marked the beginning of what is now a growing trend in the reproduction flying jacket community – producing jackets that emulate original contracts and contractors.
Today Eastman Leather has achieved a well-earned, worldwide reputation for their reproduction vintage-style WWII flying jackets and accessory items. The leathers and other component materials Eastman uses are all top quality, and the assembly is still on the bench one garment at a time, produced by one highly skilled craftsman or craftswoman in their factory in the southwest of England. Obsessiveness for historical authenticity and accuracy is furthered by Eastman’s custom reproduction of even the metal collar clips, press studs and various defunct zipper styles correct to the era. The offerings from Eastman, however, have changed, which now include dozens of styles, with a special emphasis on Original-Maker flying jackets following the formula of contract-specific and contractor-specific recreation we began in 1993 with our Rough Wear 1401-P A-2 Jacket.
We are very, very proud of our long association with Eastman Leather and for the part we played in developing their name at a time when they were but an obscure little brand from across the Atlantic. It still remains true that, with the purchase of an Eastman, it’s not a question of how long it will last, but one of whom you will leave it to. Order an Eastman, then where it the rest of your life!