Score Sportswear and The Tapper: Developing New Models

Part of the fun of starting this “heritage” project is developing new ideas for leather jackets.  I am very committed to having a solid concept behind every single design that I do.A huge part of that philosophy is applying the knowledge and history that I have accumulated into the creation of a jacket.  Each jacket requires a different process and some of the designs come from my head and some of the designs come from real existent jackets.

When I saw my first Score jacket it was in Rin Tanaka’s History of Motorcycle Jackets book.  It was unidentified by manufacturer.  I researched that jacket.  It was so cool.  As it turns out it should have been in the Canadian jacket section.  That jacket was developed and designed by Score Sportswear of Toronto.  Open since 1930 Score was one of the many jacket manufacturers down on Spadina (now Chinatown)  where I live and work.  I knew one of my first jackets would be a Score!

When I start working on a design I try and assess what my goals are in recreating or creating a jacket.  In this case I have tried to imagine what the diagonal zipped Score racing shirt would have looked like if Score had made one in 1935. I should say I own 4 versions of this jacket from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and then of course the company disappeared.

I sat down with the pattern and imagined a slightly more primitive version.  The leather was thicker, the seams top stitched, the lines hand drawn and the zippers typical of that period.  After justifying ever design change I now have my first prototype, which I will preview fully once I build prototype number two.

I am working on 6 new designs.  The second one I am calling the Tapper.  It is more of a heritage project.  I found this workers jacket from around 1910.  It immediately struck me as absolutely beautiful and primitive.  I was blown away by the simplicity of this jacket and its refined utilitarian lines.  The 1910 jacket looks essentially like a WW 1 era jerkin vest with extra large arm holes for mobility, and then the designers sewed circular gussets and external corduroy arms on to the leather vest.  It is so simple!  A protective wool lined horsehide vest with external twill lined cord arms that continue into the body component of the jacket.  This sort of design is ridiculously primitive and avant garde .  Sometimes the genius and simplicity of the past reflects the cutting edge of the future.  I have not completed this jacket yet but I have a prototype sans button holes that I have completed and am looking for test wearers!


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  1. Only not too many people understand what you are doing and real hardcore workmanship. This blog is very important and more people need to be educated by skillful experts like you! I was planning to order one leather jacket from you, but I am not confident on custom online ordering. Although I work in apparel firm, I still worry I didn’t get the right sizing. I found a maker in my area and made a fitted jacket and I will ship it to you for the sizing, I hope this works well on you. I like the new score and tapper jacket a lot! I will confirm with you with all the details soon!

  2. I recognize the concerns about ordering online. Since I have started selling I have not had one complaint about sizing and fit. I was initially a little confused by this because I figured I might have somehow messed up one jacket for fit. But the truth is i have been selling vintage jackets online for almost 20 years via the web, and I have spent that many years with a tape measure and a hairy eyeball figuring out the fit on these things. I have a system that seems to work 100% of the time combined with the fact that I will spend a lot of time both on the phone and through the email to make sure that I get it right. If you order a jacket I can at this point assure you that the measurements and fit will work for you. And you can send along a jacket it you like but it isn’t even really necessary! Thaks for the lovely praise. It makes me feel very comfortable when I am working so hard on my end to try and make this thing happen!

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