I own eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves. Those who conclude from this that I have a leather fetish, an extreme leather fetish, get a grand prize of zero. And those who are familiar with my choices will sign affidavits attesting to the fact that I wear leather every day. The self-expression feels glorious, an indispensable part of me. As a stranger said after admiring my look in a Gucci burgundy jacquard velvet jacket and a Burberry black patent leather trench, “You don’t give a fuck.” The most expensive leather jacket I own, a Gucci ostrich skin, cost $13,900. The most expensive evening jacket I own, also from Gucci, black napa leather with gold threading, cost $9,800. The most expensive leather pants, $5,600. The most expensive jeans, $2,500. The most expensive pair of boots, $2,600. The most expensive pair of gloves, $1,015. Gucci by far makes up the highest percentage of my collection. The Gucci brand has always held special power for me, ever since the 1960s, when the Gucci loafer with the horsebit hardware was the rage, and my father, who fancied himself as being anti-status when he secretly loved it, broke down and bought a pair. Followed by my mother’s purchase of the famous Jackie O. shoulder bag. As a 13-year-old, I circled the old store on Fifth Avenue several times before getting up the courage to go in and buy a Gucci wallet covered with the insignia. [GQ]
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