Fashion blogger and personal shopper Lindsi Lane shares the story behind a jacket that represents her career, independence and personal style.
How did this stunning Rick Owens leather jacket come into your life? "I was a personal shopper at Barneys at the time, and it was the first time I was on my own in the store, and working my butt off, and the first time I was really working for myself, and got my first paycheck. I was eyeing [the jacket] for some time, and it happened to be the first thing I needed to have. It was about six years ago! When you work at Barneys you're taught about the designers, so you know what to tell your clients. Having met Rick himself, he was such an amazing guy—as well as super talented, just a leather god, and just created these incredible pieces."
What does it mean to you? "Aside from him being so warm and wonderful, I was drawn to every single thing about him and his works of art. I still get stopped on the street for my jacket, and I own a couple now. He's just incredible. Not only because of the style and name, but meeting him and seeing how kind and gentle and how great he was as a man…it was a no brainer."
Stylistically speaking, what do you love about it? "It's a thin, lined leather jacket that has inlets of stretch cotton, so it's a very snug, tight fit. From the front, it's a droopy neck so when you zip it it looks like a cowl-neck, skin-tight jacket, but it's leather. And it's black."
It sounds pretty timeless, no wonder you still wear it so often. "Yeah. It's just one of those pieces, leather never goes out of style, it's something you have forever. Specifically Rick's pieces, they really wear so beautifully over time, they get so soft and really mushy and beautiful. I haven't had one issue with the jacket."
What does it represent in terms of your career?" Well, I was the youngest personal shopper in Barneys history when I was 23, so to be so young and make a very good living at that time, and be able to actually afford something like that was very good. I was working very hard, and around beautiful things constantly, and you have to edit the things that you want so you don't go home with the whole store, but at the end, this item stood out. I knew it would be a classic."
How does the jacket illustrate your style philosophy and advice you give others? "Whether it's friends or people who stop me on the street, I always back it up with cost per wear. Like, I have worn this jacket 10,000 times. Women need to, of course, be smart with their spending, but understand what they need to take them through each season, through years of their lives as they get older. It's a classic, it's black leather, it wears very well over time. Although it might be pricey, it's something you'll never have to buy again."
Since you've worn it 10,000 times, this jacket must have seen you through some memorable moments. "There's so many memories, this jacket's been around the world. I've taken it on every single trip with me: Tokyo, Brazil…it's such a staple and goes with everything. I've also worn it over black-tie gowns to charity events, I've had wild nights with the girls where I thought I lost it but it always comes back."
It always comes back and finds its owner! Any leather jacket styling tips to share? "I think the black leather jacket is probably the most neutral thing in your closet, and even if people might not know that yet, they will. It's something that depending on the weight of the jacket can take you through two or three seasons. I wear mine sometimes underneath a heavier coat, so you can wear leather jackets as a layering piece. You can also wear them a little fancier; fashion right now is dictated by who you are as a person these days, we're really celebrating the individual woman. So [beyond] layering and formal, you can also wear a fur vest over it, you can even wear it as a shirt if you want. Zip it up, throw something on over it."
When you see the jacket hanging in your closet, what's the first feeling that comes to mind? "It brings me back to nostalgia, when I was very young and proud of my accomplishments."