c. 2000
Gift of Burl Willes and Photos by Biron (Lionel A. Biron)

"Congratulations Mr. International Leather, 1982, from The Ambush, San Francisco"

This jacket, titled "Leather" presents a visual history of gay leather bars (and bath houses) south of Market Street in San Francisco in the 1970s and early 1980s. The long sleeves are primarily black leather with red leather cuffs. The front of the jacket is black leather with red leather used as the collar and interior front panel as well as a waist trim at the back. The front yoke is red bandana print, trimmed with a squared yoke bordeer of blue bandana print, the bottom edge of which is finished with a seam of blue denim. Either side of the jacket has a vertical panel of blue denim. Yellow, pink, blue and red pieces of bandana print are set at angles across the back and on the sleeves. Advertisements for various bars and bath houses appealing to a gay clientele are appliqued under clear plastic using a variation of the buttonhole stitch. "Animals Bathhouse" is featured on the left sleeve ("open from 8 PM. until 10 A.M., 161 Sixth St., San Francisco...") along with an appliqued circle of knitted black fabric, printed white, showing a snake and a skull, "snake eyes" on dice, an eight ball, cat eyes and the number "13" ("XIII"), "May Place, Breaking Rules and Taboos for 13 Years, San Francisco." "Get into The Trench" is on the right sleeve, ("164 8th St. San Francisco...Open 1200 Hrs. Daily, Uniform -- Leather -- Levis, Now open Sat. & Sun. 6 A.M. Uncut Men Wanted Tuesday Nights"), along with a piece of knitted black fabric, printed with three lines making a triangle and a muscular man wearing a military style hat, a leather bandolier and a single hand cuf, "The Cult." Right front of jacket feathures "Arena, San Francisco, 399 9th St. at Harrison." Left front of jacket features "The Slot, 979 Folsom/San Francisco..." There are three decorative pins attached near the yoke: round pin "4th Anniversary April 15 '98, Hole in the Wall Saloon;" three playing cards "2, 5, A," metallic silver color and red; metallic silver color and blue enamel, depicting a workman in a steel helmet, "Jackhammer." Left front yoke "Congratulations Mr. International Leather, 1982, from The Ambush, 1351 Harrison, between 9th & 10th, San Francisco." Three decorative pins attached just below the yoke: "The 15, IX, San Francisco" metallic silver circle with blue and white enamel; circular pin "5th Anniversary, April 15 '99, Hole in the Wall Saloon;" full color enamel pin of the rainbow flag. The back features an applique of a King of Hearts design playing card, showing two different men, wearing hats. This design is printed in black on white and blue perforated knitted polyester/nylon; decoratively trimmed with small red satin stars. "Black & Blue, 8th & Howard, San Francisco." Appliqued across the bottom row of the back are three black and white advertisements, each covered with clear plastic and held in place with a variation on the blanket stitch: "Animals, San Francisco, A Levi -- Leather Bathhouse, 161 6th Street, San Francisco...A Private Membership Club;" ""975 Harrison, SF'S Han Ball Express...announcing our new $5 membership, $1 Lockers on Thursdays;" "Buddy Days, Two for One Monday and Friday, steam, sauna, gym facilities, whirl pool, snack bar, sundeck, movies, TV lounge, 7 ft. video screen, four floors, Club San Francisco, 330 Ritch St., S.F.C.A...." Various areas are decorated with different varieties of metallic silver studs (flat, pointed, etc.) as well as smaller domed studs in many different colors.

Used: Bill Bowers

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