Designer Jeff Hamilton has been creating unmatched custom leather jackets
JEFF HAMILTON has been honing his design practice for decades, from humble beginnings in Paris as a kid with a thing for American culture to an icon of the fashion industry who has created custom pieces for legendary characters in pop culture in nearly every industry from music to sports. Take a minute to dive into his creative mind in part one of our interview covering everything from his original inspirations to future plans here.
Despite having created for a variety of names that will go down in history from Madonna to Nelson Mandela, some of Hamilton’s most widely recognized and culturally impactful work has been in the American basketball field. Having made customs for timeless players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, it was only a matter of time until one of his designs became cemented in the culture, and his ‘98 Chicago Bulls championship design which celebrated the team’s legendary three-peat win did just that.
We asked the designer to elaborate on the piece, from the initial process of creating the concept to executing for Michael Jordan, and the nostalgic inspiration behind it.
“Every year, from ‘95 to ‘96-’97 and this ‘98 piece, I tried to capture specific things. For instance, in ‘97 Michael Jordan was wearing patent leather shoes, the sleek and ultra-shiny leather. So, I incorporated some of these elements into the jacket to make sure people knew what it was. 1998 was almost like a celebration of all the years combined, of all six championships the team had achieved. So, it was important for me to represent all the six championships in the piece, creating the globe, ultimately creating the Bulls. And, since the team is based in Chicago, I also featured the Chicago skyline. You see that there is still a team logo, but it's three-dimensional and features all kinds of representational elements to signify the fact that they won three championships in a row. With the limited edition badge, every jacket signed with a date on it as well.”
The piece isn’t simply a jacket but more like a work of fine art, featuring tons of handcrafted elements and meaningful details that leave the viewer wanting more at every angle. And just like art, it only gets more special over time.
“If you look on eBay for these jackets right now, they go for five times more than in 1998. The price is going up with time, which doesn’t typically happen with clothing. Of course, with high-end clothing it happens, but in my line of work, sports apparel doesn’t usually appreciate in price. But its value has already increased by five times. Like art.”
Exactly like art, and the wearable leather type that we’d love to get our hands on.
Pro tip: head to our Instagram for our giveaway of the custom METCHAxTSS AIR JORDAN XI CONCORD — it's only 'til Oct 9th.