Auntie Fashion

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Expand Your Fashion Vocabulary #76

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North Beach Leather

North Beach Leather

North Beach Leather was founded by Michael Hoban and Frank Morgan in the sixties as a leather goods store in Los Angeles, eventually moving to San Francisco’s North Beach.  Capitalizing upon his popularity as a “celebrity designer,” Hoban would become a fashion star of the late-eighties with his ubiquitous advertisements in all major fashion magazines.

As the over-the-top eighties morphed into the pared-down nineties, the fortunes of the company began to decline, and the company was bankrupt by 2002.

Today, Hoban’s influence can be seen on the runways of Christopher Kane and Balmain, although his greatest work — his costumes for stars such as Elton John, Elvis and Tom Jones — has yet to be referenced by contemporary designers.  Like Nudie Cohn, Hoban created “West Coast Couture” through the sixties and seventies, and when his vintage styles are inevitably revived, the fashion world will likely hold him in high regard.  At the moment, however, the name “North Beach Leather” is synonymous with the hard-edged excess of the late-eighties and early-nineties.

Written by Post Author

October 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm

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