Craft / January 2018

How Thedi Leathers Creates Genuine Motorcycle Jackets

Theodoros Pampoukas, the man behind authentic motorcycle jacket maker Thedi Leathers, explains what makes this artisanal Greek leather goods atelier unique.

Greece-based Thedi Leathers has been making motorcycle jackets since 1979. Photograph from Elegant Apparatus.

Motorcycle jackets have been a men’s style staple since the premiere of 1953 Brando classic, The Wild One. You’ll find supple, luxurious examples at most designer boutiques today — only problem is, paper-thin buttery-softness isn’t such a desirable quality for actual motorcyclists, or those of us seeking durability and resilience in a garment. No, for a motorbike jacket that’ll last a lifetime, and maybe even save your life, you’re best to skip the fashion labels and look instead to the likes of Thedi Leathers.

Founded in 1979 in Thessaloniki, Greece, by Theodoros Pampoukas and his wife, Dimitra (the brand an amalgamation of the first syllables of their names), the company specialises in what it describes as “genuine jackets, belts and bags”. When they say “genuine”, of course that means genuine leather — cordovan horsehide, cowhide, calf or goatskin. But more importantly, when they say “genuine”, they mean these are serious biker jackets that can withstand a serious tumble from a Triumph. These are motorcycle jackets for bikers, by bikers.

“My passion for motorcycles is what drove me to create something that I loved,” Co-Founder Pampoukas says. “When Dimitra and I started back in 1979, I began working with leathers that few in Greece knew about or used at that time. From the very first moment, we distinguished ourselves from the other producers, designing something different, fresh and unique because we had passion. It was what was lacking in the Greek market — real motorcycle jackets.”

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Christian Barker

Christian Barker is The Rake's Asia editor-at-large, a frequent contributor to this site, and an enthusiastic consumer of fine whiskies, sashimi and classic disco music - ideally in unison.