The Leather Biker Is Back: Here's How to Make It Feel Fresh for 2022

A noughties icon.

As the models hit the runway at Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada’s first IRL runway show back in September 2021, anticipation was running high. Featuring miniskirts, corsets, lacing and leathers, the two shows, which ran simultaneously in Milan and Shanghai, were heralded a runaway success. But there was one breakout star in particular that wove itself through the entire collection: the humble leather biker jacket.

From the anarchic chic of the Sex Pistols to the rock ’n‘ roll stylings of noughties Kate Moss, the leather biker has long been a byword for the cool crowd. Yes, it may have lost some of its potency over the decades—quietly slipping from an anti-establishment icon into mainstream mundanity—but perhaps it’s simply been waiting for the perfect moment to announce its comeback tour. Well, whether it’s a symptom of loungewear fatigue or a subconscious craving for rebellion, the biker is officially back for 2022, and it’s looking pretty damn good for its age.

At Prada and Balenciaga, leather bikers came oversized and packed full of attitude via zips and fringing. Meanwhile, Simone Rocha and Richard Quinn introduced a more experimental spin with puffed sleeves and dramatic studding. As always, where the runway goes, shoppers will follow, and fashion platform Lyst reported that global searches for leather biker jackets have increased by 57% within the past two months. Short leather biker jackets saw particular success, with searches up 65% within the same time frame.

So how do we make the leather biker jacket feel fresh for 2022? If you’ve already got one sitting in your wardrobe, we recommend experimenting with styling. A cropped biker will pair beautifully with this season’s wide-leg, high-waisted trousers—just add a white T-shirt and a red knotted neckerchief for a little Danny Zuko appeal. Or why not take your cues from Prada and toughen up a miniskirt and cashmere roll-neck with a boxy-silhouetted style?

If you’re looking to invest in a new biker jacket, you can’t go wrong with time-tested designs from the likes of ACNE Studios and AllSaints. Just consider going one size up for a more nonchalant fit. It’s also worth checking out second-hand sites such as Vestiaire and Etsy, which are gold mines for pre-loved pieces that come a little worn around the edges—just the way we like our leathers.

To help you on your way to Big Biker Jacket Energy, we’ve rounded up the 19 best leather biker jackets that are available to buy now. Trust us: This is one investment you won’t regret making this year.

Up Next: Spring/Summer 2022 Trends: The Only 17 Looks You Need to Know About

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