LOST WORLDS is a premier manufacturer of
Classic American Flight, Motorcycle and Rugged Outdoors Styles.
We recreate vintage designs of particular historic merit and appeal. Things that
look great. Things markedly better than anything in the current marketplace.
Things that reflect the America that was, not is. A celebration of Americana,
wearable artisan-grade gear that
defines our history, aspirations and character in a living, vibrant manner.
WHY DO YOU
CALL YOURSELF PREMIER?
Our absolute unflinching,
devotion to Authenticity, Quality and Service. Our honesty, integrity and
refusal to kowtow to fad or incorrect suppositions. Our mind-blowing
craftsmanship that "spoils" customers for other clothing!
We make everything we sell AT OUR
OWN FACTORY in New York. We donít import, contract or subcontract. From pattern
to finished product, everything is made here by us. In fact, until we built this
website in 1998 we were best known as exporters to the Trade in Japan and as
contractors for other well-known apparel companies. Top designers and fashion
houses regularly had us develop their Samples and Patterns because they trusted
that we would deliver the best. Who needs the best comes to us, not vice
versa. Until now we've been a trade secret. From pattern to packing, we do
everything at our factory. We've built and we maintain this website ourselves,
too -- for good or bad! Everything, the photos, copy, layouts, you name it. Why?
Because we pride ourselves on complete control; no compromises that way. The
buck stops here.
HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND?
LOST WORLDS was founded in 1986. (10 years before the movie that took
For the first few years we were a catalog business selling products made by other
manufacturers. Quickly, though, we grew dissatisfied with the attention to quality and
verisimilitude paid by our suppliers, who either couldnt or wouldnt upgrade
their products based on our feedback. Like many before us we thought we could do a better
job ourselves. Like some, we were right.
QUALIFICATIONS DID YOU HAVE FOR
We started as collectors, historians and restorers of classic American military and rugged wear,
with a particular expertise in and love of Leather Flight and Motorcycle
LOST WORLDS COLLECTION
comprises a comprehensive selection of rare and extraordinary pieces from the
1930s-60s. Accordingly, we have a wide-ranging knowledge of the complexities,
variations and eccentricities of this admittedly very esoteric subject. We
fixate on the little, obscure details which the average customer may not even be
To put it simply, we never stop at the surface: when we reproduce a classic style we penetrate to that styles essence, its
spirit, its soul. An article of clothing bound up in history, like a World War II flight
jacket, indeed has something of these qualities that we normally -- perhaps foolishly! --
associate with people. In fact we believe that few people but most dogs have souls.
A clue to the secret of
LOST WORLDS -- we love the daunting challenge to get to the
essence regardless the difficulties. If another company bettered us we'd close up shop --
we have no interest in being second best.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO
MAKE THESE JACKETS?
Todays clothing differs completely from
that of the past. Then, clothing was meant to be functional, strong and well made: during
and after the Great Depression people lacked the money to change "fashion statements"
with the weather! Things were made to last, even to be handed down.
Before the introduction of synthetics (Polar
Fleece, Hollofil, Gore-Tex, etc.) sturdy leathers and woolens were used for warmth. The
look and feel of these older materials differ wholly from current clothing.
People think, for instance, that fragile,
short-lived, non-performing leather like lambskin is the thing to have. We dont. We
call such taxi leather great if your life consists of getting in and out of taxis.
Geez, they make condoms out of lambskin. Maybe thats the point! You are what you
Sorry to sound so aggressive, but Fashion doesnt interest us a
bit. Fashion's not for men. Style is. Fashion is fleeting, Style remains
forever. (Coco Chanel said this.) We make clothing with which customers establish emotional bonds. Like a beloved
dog, our clothing is always at your side, recalling the best times, ready for the worst.
Clothing that becomes a part of ones memory, not clothing soon forgotten.
Clothing a joy to wear, not a necessity, unless a psychic one.
The great challenge in recreating great
clothing of the past that still speaks to us directly today is that the original materials just
arent easily available.
For example, we're famous for our Horsehide
leather. Until the 1950s, military and high performance leather clothing was
predominantly Horsehide for reasons of strength, durability and history. The disappearance of the equine industry during and after WWII
made Horsehide progressively scarcer. Environmental laws impacted the tanning
process; formaldehyde, for example, now prohibited, was an ingredient. Motorcycle jackets afterwards were made in Cowhide
-- easy to get, a good compromise, but lesser in strength, durability, protection and grain. A jacket might
superficially look the same, but it most certainly wasnt the same.
To produce a jacket like the immortal Army Air
Forces A-2, we had to source heavy
Horsehide because the A-2 was only produced in this leather (along with much
smaller quantities in Goatskin, which we also offer). Those who claim that Cowhide (or
Steerhide) was originally used do so only because it's easy to get these hides today! Or
perhaps they really can't tell the differences between Horsehide and Cowhide. For us the
differences are day and night. Some make Jackets in Cowhide and mislabel it
gull the unwary, enlisting allegedly unconnected web sites and chat groups to
support their deception.
A little story: back in the mid-1980s when
LOST WORLDS began as a mail order business, I approached our main
supplier's president, whose company produced a commercially acceptable if hardly correct
Horsehide A-2, the quality and availability of hides inconsistent at best. I
suggested that he hire me to source obscure materials but was told it was
pointless Ė the leather was commercially unavailable in the correct grades. This
was certainly discouraging. However, rather than accept as final that great
Horsehide was unobtainable, I elected to confirm this independently. The old
second opinion diagnosis, in this instance my own.
After an arduous search, first to locate
suitable hides, then a tanner with the lost skills to tan them (tanning horse is
fully different than cow), I had the right stuff, to the shock of the "experts."
It wasn't easy or cheap but it was possible. The moral: listen to so-called experts but
only accept the "impossible" after you yourself do the research and legwork. A
little philosophy: one's only goal in life should be to be able to look in the mirror
without shame. Unquestioningly accepting the advice and expertise of others doesnt
produce this! Being stupid is easy; being smart is a challenge that compels us every moment
of our lives, challenging us to challenge ourselves. Acting on the advice of others
without doing your own legwork makes one yet another of the countless, dim and
dangerous mob. (Listening to so-called experts -- the appeasers -- has also
gotten our country in the perilous straits in which we find ourselves today.) Marketing
geeks rely upon
this innate laziness and desire to conform -- and our blind
respect for what seems to be authority -- to leech away what individuality and free
thought still remain.
Beginning with a stubborn reluctance to accept
the "impossible," our pursuit of authenticity stretches to every aspect of our
manufacturing: linings, hardware, thread, labels. The verisimilitude can be astonishing.
Yet don't imagine for a moment that our esteem for the past blinds us to our present task
-- making great looking, unique clothing for people today. Which means:
clothing fits perfectly. We don't duplicate errors in construction or
pattern such as occur frequently in clothing done in
wartime, n haste, under military contract. Perfection wasn't the goal then.
Getting the clothing to the troops was. Perfection, however, is our
goal. For this reason we can say that our products are usually better than the originals.
ACTUALLY KILLED TO MAKE THESE JACKETS?
Absolutely not. We're animal lovers. No
horse was ever killed for its hide, thank goodness. It's the cheapest part of
the animal. Left over. Processing and tanning the hides is where the money goes. When one
wears a Lost Worlds Horsehide jacket you're making good ecological
sense, taking advantage of a forgotten, unused but inimitable resource, while
paying tribute to the noble horse, keeping it alive in memory as it continues to
serve us. In a small way we're contributing to the natural continuum. That's right, wearing horsehide is ethical. It puts one in touch a
bit with where we came from. It doesn't participate in fashion slaughtering at
| HOW DO I BREAK
IN YOUR HORSEHIDE AND COWHIDE JACKETS? IT IS HARD?
You break in a LOST WORLDS jacket by wearing it.
In every kind of weather. Our Horsehide and Cowhide are firm because this is
how they were and this is how they're supposed to be. For those afraid of
heavy leather -- spare us! -- or desirous of a soft, draping jacket right
out of the box, we're not for you. Part of the attraction of a LOST WORLDS
jacket is the break-in. Wear it and forget about it. In time and over time
the hides conform themselves to your build, the grain follows your
movements. In some new, soft, thin joke of a flight or motorcycle jacket,
the opposite occurs. Hard seems to frighten most of our New Age "men." They
like "limp" leather. Interior decorators of the soul.
Anyhow -- to leave the unpleasant -- it doesn't take long for the initial
break-in. A few weeks, a month. As we say, just wear it and forget about it. If the break-in is more important than the jacket, LOST WORLDS ain't for
you. If you buy a car with a Hemi you buy it for the horses. Exactly the
same with LOST WORLDS. (A Birkenstock bombardier would only buy a Hemi if it
was a four-banger, got 40mpg, was speed limited to 60mph and Ralph Nader
peed into the cup holders.)
WORLDS OFFERS HORSEHIDE AND COWHIDE. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
In Summer 2002 we began offering
superlative 4.0+ oz. American Chrome-Tanned, Drum-Dyed Cowhide made to LOST WORLDS
specifications as a less expensive option on
many of our jackets. Horsehide is infinitely scarcer, was used on original
jackets in the 20s-50s, has a different grain when broken in and is our
signature leather, unmatched anywhere. It's also ultimately tougher under lab
Our beautiful, heavy Cowhide, in actual use, is very tough,
than will ever be tested in most real life conditions, so durability is no
realistic concern. If you fall off a bike, it'll do a helluva job of keeping
you and the jacket intact! Something that can't be said about many inexpensive
or expensive but "logo-driven" cowhide jackets.
When the hides
are new Horsehide and Cowhide look very similar; they diverge in look
after break-in. But Horsehide's ultimately tougher and the ultimate for
someone who wants and can afford complete authenticity and leather legendary for strength and beauty among collectors and
those who know from the seat of their pants -- hides a time capsule
to the lost America and American motorcycle and rugged leather wear as it
was, at the peak. The Bucos, Trojans, Becks, California Leathers, etc. The tales we've
gotten over the years about how bulletproof LOST WORLDS Horsehide is in a bad
spill sometimes sound like science fiction! They're no fiction. They're
a source of great pride and accomplishment to us.
But for significantly less,
often over 25%, our fantastic Cowhide will blow you away
in its own right, coupled with peerless LOST WORLDS workmanship, materials, fit
and expertise! A V12 will pull you away from anyone, but a V8 is still heads and tails faster than the competition.
This is an apt comparison.
HOW CAN I BE
SURE YOUR PRODUCTS ARE AS GOOD AS YOU SAY?
EVERYBODY CLAIMS THEIRS ARE.
true, it's called marketing, one of the most obscene words in the language
(because of what it's come to mean). The claims made in the interests of marketing
bear little relation to reality most of the time. Except in our case, of
course! But we're marketing our products here just like the other guys, so what do
you do to avoid getting misled?
NOTE: LOST WORLDS does not
manipulate/subsidize/sanction web sites/chat groups/internet forums/blogs for shilling,
fraudulent advertising or personal attack. This is contemptible but standard
operating procedure in the field. We wouldn't be caught dead....
Do as much HOMEWORK as you can. Speak to others, speak to us. Read this, then
read others. (Sometimes reading theirs is reading ours, as the often "borrowed" and
paraphrased from this site indicate! The English is a bit different, though --
more phonetic.) Phone rates are
cheap now. You decide who seems to know the most. You decide whom you think
would be best to patronize. If you seek a Trekkie-like e-club of nerdy "basement
bombardiers," to perpetuate myths and absurdities of the ignorant and dishonest,
it ain't us. If, say, you're in the market for a jacket that needs to fit a
certain budget and doesn't need to be a virtual time capsule to the lost worlds
of the American past, we won't try to sell you our stuff because it's not what
you're looking for. If you're looking, say, for a flight jacket with convenience
or insulation features not found in the original design, you must shop
elsewhere. Plenty of times we get calls from folks who want an A-2 or motorcycle
jacket in something soft, like Lambskin, or even bogus Horsehide (tanned to
distress and antique immediately out of the box, unlike originals), or
oversized, like everything in every mall. We tell them to go elsewhere, because
they won't understand or appreciate what we offer. Ours is specialist,
not mass market, clothing. For the few, not the herd. Moreover, customers who
might go elsewhere for their initial purchases based on cost or confusion
inevitably seem to return to LOST WORLDS at some later time. When they've
PUBLISH A CATALOG OF YOUR PRODUCTS YOU CAN SEND ME?
We do not
publish a catalog. This website is our electronic catalog.
I LIVE IN
OR AM VISITINGTHE NEW YORK AREA. DO YOU HAVE A SHOWROOM WHERE I CAN SEE YOUR
We do not have
a Retail Showroom/Store facility. Our Factory is not open to the Retail public. All
Sales are via this website.
WHAT GUARANTEES ARE THERE ON YOUR PRODUCTS?
All LOST WORLDS products carry a LIFETIME GUARANTEE
for stitching, construction and hide quality except in the event of customer
accident, abuse or modification.
for Hardware and Materials
except in the event of customer accident, abuse or
For WARRANTY SERVICE customer pays shipping to and from manufacturer.
(Warranty does not apply to SALE merchandise.)
All WARRANTY SERVICE
requires confirmation order
number from manufacturer