I‘d say leather pants have come a long way since Ross wore a pair on an episode of Friends. That is to say, I hope so.
Over the past few seasons we have seen a progressive rise in leather trouser-power. There was Acne, Bottega Venetta, Hermès (swoon), and of course Versace (didn’t Donatella basically invent them?). But in terms of RLM (Real Life Menswear), the leather trouser thing is akin to seeing a wild Javan Rhino – essentially it’s rare.
Unlike most people I know, I continue to credit Kanye West with a few great things: 1. writing The College Dropout – easily one of the best hip hop albums ever; 2. forcing Kim Kardashian to refrain from wearing bandage dresses; and 3. wearing leather pants day-in day-out for almost a year. I don’t know if Kanye perpetuated the trend per se, but I will say his continued efforts in the leather-pants-department demonstrates their wearability to real men – so that’s something.
Bearing all of the above in mind, a shopping excursion late last year had me trying on my very first pair of leather pants by Alexander Wang. Although originally intended for women, the fit was perfect (something I never argue with) – the feeling was mutual. To break-it down, the black stretch jersey provides comfort while the soft panels of lambs leather give fantastic structure. So maybe I should be grateful to the pioneering efforts of Ross Geller after all. Not for getting it right or wrong, but for planting the leather-pants seed in my sartorial sub-conscience.
Alexander Atkins, wearing Alexander Wang leather pants and a Dries van Noten sweater, photographed by Sabrina Reddy in New York City.
*Wearing T by Alexander Wang leather pants, Dries van Noten sweatshirt and cashmere beanie by Rick Owens.