Johnny Lucero’s Piston Clothing produces the Sons of Anarchy Outerwear Collection
by Andrew Asch, Retail Editor California Apparel News, February 29, 2012
For years, brothers Johnny Lucero and Eric Anthony faced off in a friendly completion, each designing clothes for the hot-rod set. More recently, the family competition has played out through licensing biker jackets from popular TV shows and movies with a need for speed. In December, Anthony’s Steady Clothing label, based in Santa Ana, Calif., licensed the satin racer’s jacket from the hit movie “Drive.” Lucero, who shares office space with Anthony, refused to be outdone by his brother.
Lucero runs hot-rod-oriented fashion label Piston Clothing. At the recent run of MAGIC’s Street trade show in Las Vegas, Lucero debuted Sons of Anarchy Outerwear, which was officially licensed from “Sons of Anarchy,” the FX network’s biker saga. The show’s parent company, News Corp., had licensed T-shirts and accessories with the show’s logo through its Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products Group. But the group had never licensed leather jackets for men and women, a crucial look for the show, which features a fictional group of biker outlaws. Lucero has been designing and manufacturing biker jackets for independent motorcycle shops for more than 15 years. But getting a Hollywood license was a lucky roll of the dice for Lucero, who is a fan of the show.
In October, Lucero sent a message to a general email account at Twentieth Century Fox with something of a shot-in-the-dark pitch: “I got some good ideas for ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ Can you call me?” Lucero recalled writing.
Two weeks later, he heard back from Twentieth Century Fox, which requested to see his designs. “I was in shock,” Lucero said. “You figure no way will you hear back, but what have you got to lose? You put it out there.”
The company showed interest in Lucero’s cold call, reportedly, because he ran his own leather workshop. He manufactures and designs the biker jackets in California. Many clothing companies manufacture their leather jackets overseas.
A series of meetings with Twentieth Century Fox’s licensing department went on for three months. Lucero submitted ideas, and the licensing division approved or rejected the jackets after a long approval process, which was mulled over by many executives.
While exhibiting at MAGIC, Lucero got valuable feedback from retailers on the line. They basically told him to use less-expensive materials, such as black denim. Highlights from the 25-piece line are a mechanics/work jacket with a slim silhouette and a poly/cotton twill shell with a quilted satin liner. Other looks include a jacket with a denim body and leather sleeves and another with a leather body and a fleece hood and sleeves.
The deal with Twentieth Century Fox will give Lucero’s Piston Clothing more credibility in the fashion industry, he said. He is also going on the road for credibility with a tougher group. He’ll be showing the Sons of Anarchy outerwear at American’s biggest motorcycle rally at the 72nd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, S.D., in August—an event Lucero rides at every year. The deal also gives Lucero bragging rights in the competition with his brother. “You can’t one-up this. It is too huge. It will bury that ‘Drive’ jacket,” Lucero said.
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Check out Sons of Anarchy Jackets Here: http://www.pistonclothing.com