Bill Kelso timeline of leather, with a little wear thrown in...

Pilot

Well-Known Member
That Aero is a beauty. I’m surprised BK jackets don’t get more coverage, they are the equal of any of the high end makers IMHO.
Agree, never saw any review or evaluation recently.
BK jackets look great .
Thinking of trying one of his USN leather flight jacket’s...Any suggestion regarding authenticity ...or others?
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
Their was a comparison from a forum member a good while ago (5-6 years?) between an original m422a, a GW and a BK he had just received. I can't seem to bring it up in the search. Anyway, from memory they were comparing against the original G&F I think it was, the GW was closer to original, the BK being a little less trim, especially in the forearms to wrists. Bare in mind these were brand new and not really worn in yet. as new jackets tend to look a bit stiff and boxy till they settle to the body. That was time ago and things may have changed. The AN-J-3 pics above were made a year or two after that comparison and designed off a G&F Pattern. I still think the forearms are a little too big and don't taper enough. It has shrunk some with wear but not much, if you like more tapered arms I'd ask BK and see if they'd do that, I think they would, they are fairly open to modifications within reason.

I purchased an original G&F size 40 from them that they used to create their pattern, and the forearms on that jacket were more tapered. So maybe they make them with more modern bodies in mind as a general rule?
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Their was a comparison from a forum member a good while ago (5-6 years?) between an original m422a, a GW and a BK he had just received. I can't seem to bring it up in the search. Anyway, from memory they were comparing against the original G&F I think it was, the GW was closer to original, the BK being a little less trim, especially in the forearms to wrists. Bare in mind these were brand new and not really worn in yet. as new jackets tend to look a bit stiff and boxy till they settle to the body. That was time ago and things may have changed. The AN-J-3 pics above were made a year or two after that comparison and designed off a G&F Pattern. I still think the forearms are a little too big and don't taper enough. It has shrunk some with wear but not much, if you like more tapered arms I'd ask BK and see if they'd do that, I think they would, they are fairly open to modifications within reason.

I purchased an original G&F size 40 from them that they used to create their pattern, and the forearms on that jacket were more tapered. So maybe they make them with more modern bodies in mind as a general rule?
Thx a lot.
Its freezing here in Seoul almost snowing, very unfriendly weather...so a lot of time to go through all the great threads/posts and check it out about BK. Looks the guy just became better and better since he started.
 

M3Cavalry

Member
Your AN-J-3 looks fantastic. I think I need to pick one up. You don't have one of the BK jackets with the Liberty HH to compare to, correct?
 

dmar836

Well-Known Member
I think that might have something to do with the abrasive nature of one of the people involved with the company. An ex member here who was barred from the forum. I know he put me off dealing with them.
My assessment? Besides the issue of the "aggressive" rep here, was the issue of the rapid price climb. We all knew that had to happen as you can't source the appropriate parts in the appropriate quantities to put out a top-notch jacket for $350 but your initial "campaign" tends to stick. Might be past that now. Another problem I see is all this "Victory", "Liberty", or whatever cute name everyone is using on their latest delivery of hides. The highest quality makers didn't do that as they grew in followers and reputation. They used the best hides, calling them what the tannery did, and upgraded every chance they could to the best hides they could sample. The end product is what spoke. Labeling your hides like that inadvertently places a quality ranking on them, is confusing, and makes it difficult to know what you are looking at or ordering at any given time.
In addition, Platon admitted that he sourced the materials but that the actual sewing was done by a tailor shop in Greece. They obviously knew what they were doing but there were some minor misunderstandings of instructions. No big deal but as this was put out there one realized what BK was and that no one person had total control of the product.
JMO,
Dave
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
True to some extent Dave but we're just looking at it from one side of the fence. I know some folks here had major issues with BK, but I understand a lot here including me didn't as well. I'm not sure why their were issues but I know the products I received were excellent for what you paid for.

I was never one for naming a product for marketing reasons, but it seemed to work for them in building their presence, although the hype that came with it was a little over the top IMO, maybe that was just a Platon thing or a cultural thing?

as to what they are like now, the same, better at it, I don't know but their prices are surely up with ELC and Aero one would hope the product is all the better for it
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
Your AN-J-3 looks fantastic. I think I need to pick one up. You don't have one of the BK jackets with the Liberty HH to compare to, correct?
The last jacket at the beginning of the post is my wife's Duke jacket made in Liberty, if you want further images in comparison let me know and I'll post
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
As I said above heres the pics of the liberty HH, and this would be a batch from 2015, not sure if the newer hides are better or the same, other members here who have a later version of the Liberty may be able to offer their opinion and pics. if this were my jacket I'd be quite chuffed with the result. The Duke is a nice looking jacket IMO and the russet looks unreal with this design. close up is the back panel and obviously a mismatched section from the front. She's worn it a less than I would wear my jackets but enough to produce some wear and in some weather and you can see how quickly it begins to look 'old'.

DSC_0279.jpg


DSC_0270.jpg


DSC_0267.jpg
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Very nice.
Question to all BK wearers:
Whats his best A-2 by means of authenticity?
Thx for your feedback
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
Im not an expert in the nuances of patterns between makers but the 1402-p Werber here seems to be fairly accurate in Pattern, also their Dubow 1755 seems pretty accurate from my limited perspective.
 

Ole

Banned
…or whatever cute name everyone is using on their latest delivery of hides. The highest quality makers didn't do that as they grew in followers and reputation. They used the best hides, calling them what the tannery did, and upgraded every chance they could to the best hides they could sample.

I really wonder where you got this info from? Eastman calls his hide “Warhorse” (not sure if any tannery calls their hides this way), Aero calls their Italian horsehide “Vicenza” which as far as I know isn’t what the tannery calls it, and Goodwear who is said to use Shinki uses some code names LHJ101, LHJ102 etc, that nobody knows what they mean (and one ordering from his site doesn’t know if he is getting Shinki or something else that Goodwear may have got for 1/3 of Shinki’s price, for example -unless if he can distinguish Shinki from other leathers which I doubt). In fact, nowhere in his “Available Leather” section or order form the name Shinki appears, so that does not commit him and gives him a lot of flexibility doesn’t it? Only Bill Kelso seem to have lengthy descriptions of their leathers on their website and big close up photos of the leathers. Despite those clear descriptions, from what I read here nobody really understood the difference between victory and liberty hides and thought that when BK begun offering liberty they trashed victory. I guess those descriptions were too lengthy and boring to read.
 

Pilot

Well-Known Member
Im not an expert in the nuances of patterns between makers but the 1402-p Werber here seems to be fairly accurate in Pattern, also their Dubow 1755 seems pretty accurate from my limited perspective.
Thx a lot.
 

Dr H

Well-Known Member
I really wonder where you got this info from? Eastman calls his hide “Warhorse” (not sure if any tannery calls their hides this way), Aero calls their Italian horsehide “Vicenza” which as far as I know isn’t what the tannery calls it, and Goodwear who is said to use Shinki uses some code names LHJ101, LHJ102 etc, that nobody knows what they mean (and one ordering from his site doesn’t know if he is getting Shinki or something else that Goodwear may have got for 1/3 of Shinki’s price, for example -unless if he can distinguish Shinki from other leathers which I doubt). In fact, nowhere in his “Available Leather” section or order form the name Shinki appears, so that does not commit him and gives him a lot of flexibility doesn’t it? Only Bill Kelso seem to have lengthy descriptions of their leathers on their website and big close up photos of the leathers. Despite those clear descriptions, from what I read here nobody really understood the difference between victory and liberty hides and thought that when BK begun offering liberty they trashed victory. I guess those descriptions were too lengthy and boring to read.
Where John uses Skinki in making his jackets, he states this very clearly (e.g. http://www.goodwearleather.com/pages/sale_himelracer_0001.html, http://www.goodwearleather.com/pages/sale_cable_0006.html). I believe that LHJ102 is actually a Shinki code rather than a Good Wear one (see the second ad. 'Shinki LHJ102 semi-aniline horsehide'). Furthermore, he's a very honourable and trustworthy guy in my experience, and that of many others on the forum. Whether you can tell the difference or not, buy with confidence.
 

dmar836

Well-Known Member
Matt, Your jackets look great! I have had no issues with Platon or BK. Everyone has a marketing style that appeals to them and some that don't. These are just observations from watching them grow. Platon did want to borrow a jacket of mine to copy but I declined. No fouls.

Dave
 

Skip

Well-Known Member
Matt, Your jackets look great! I have had no issues with Platon or BK. Everyone has a marketing style that appeals to them and some that don't. These are just observations from watching them grow. Platon did want to borrow a jacket of mine to copy but I declined. No fouls.

Dave
Thanks Dave. I could have worded my previous statement better but I was typing on the phone and on the go, but just clarifying I have no drama with your statement, in fact I agree to some extent. I just figured back then there was so much going on, and justifiably, with certain members here, and their experience with Platon/BK etc, along with Platons overbearing personality and with maybe a little too much personal interest being shouted from the rooftops, that it was bound to be bruising and to some maybe offensive, but way more complex than what it should have been. It got a little out of hand on both sides maybe, who's to know? and I think that tarnished the product unfortunately. I always found the guys pleasant enough, a bit of patience goes along way. Most of us that witnessed it never really knew the half of it in both the issues members faced in dealing with the BK issues, as well as BK/Platon trying to establish a quality product in a fickle market during a time in their country when financially it was extremely risky. I think there was a little misunderstanding of culture on both sides but thats just my opinion. I guess thats where getting to know your target market/audience and letting the product do the talking as you said, pays dividends.

In the end I think they got where they wanted to be, but it could have been a lot easier, and more supportive for them if Platon dealt his cards with a mind to his audience.
 

colekwok

Active Member
I don't think so...
Shinki is certainly the name of the tannery, Vicenza? I am not sure, a city in Italy also carries the name Vincenza.

In the end I think they got where they wanted to be, but it could have been a lot easier, and more supportive for them if Platon dealt his cards with a mind to his audience.
It is a pity that it went this way for them. Other than Platon being too vocal, my only complain is that they increased their prices so drastically at one point, probably due to the acquisition by the British company.
 
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