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Everyone knows a good biker jacket is hard to find — especially when quality versions don’t come in your size. That’s the conundrum Jeff Cafone has set out to solve with his debut line of premium leather and vegan jackets, All67, made specifically for sizes 12 to 28.
Two years ago, Cafone didn’t know how to sew and had never even owned a leather jacket himself. His one-bedroom New York City apartment left little room for the tactile hobbies — like building guitars and mini motorcycles — he’d grown up with, and the cult-favorite moto jacket he coveted was not entirely in his price range.
“In 2015, I got the bug to start making something again,” Cafone tells Racked. “I took to YouTube and Reddit to learn the basics of sewing, then practiced through trial and error. One day, I came across some leather hides at a great price hidden in the back of a fabric store. At that point, I’d considered buying an AllSaints moto jacket many times, and it was always in the back of my mind. I thought, ‘Well, why can’t I make a leather jacket, too?’”
In addition to learning how to work with leather (“different machines, different skills, and much more expensive,” he says), Cafone became a student of high-end manufacturers. “I’d go into designer stores and inspect the $5,000-plus jackets and think, ‘How did they sew that zipper in?’” he says. “‘What makes this cut different than that style? Why is this seam shaped like it is?’”
Cafone was soon running a bespoke biker jacket business, regularly fitting both straight- and plus-size women. This is when he started to see a pattern: Clients who wore larger sizes were coming in not because they necessarily wanted something custom — they just wanted something nice and had nowhere else to turn.
“There was a consensus that they’d never had access to a leather jacket of high quality and proper fit,” he says. “That was surprising to me because you can find leather motos from a ton of straight-size brands at a ton of price points. So I went out and purchased pretty much every moto jacket I could find in plus-sizes, and they were awful.”
Cafone noticed that almost all of the jackets were faux leather (“as if bigger women don’t deserve the same materials as straight sizes”), lacking in structure, and lined and finished cheaply. He went to work creating a signature plus biker jacket that would hit at the waist and, with its expertly arched rear hem, accommodate full hips and butts.
He sought feedback from plus-size clients and friends, including a number of cast members from Orange Is the New Black, who he says he met “randomly through music.” He crafted the resulting designs from butter-soft leather, suede, and vegan materials, with the heavy-duty zippers and heirloom-quality hardware previously reserved for straight sizes.
With prices from $549 to $749, the jackets are about on par with AllSaints — just, you know, for people over a size 10 who rarely get to invest in their wardrobes at all.
Cafone acknowledges the opportunity in catering to such an underserved market. “There’s such a huge lack of quality options for plus women,” he says. “It’s time for someone to step in and own the luxury designer space. Leather jackets are my specialty, and I plan to use them as my entry into the market and make my brand synonymous with style and fit, pieces that will last a lifetime.”
Business aside, though, he’s pretty sentimental about the whole thing. “I saw this footage of bloggers and influencers reacting to my jackets, and it was like I scripted their reactions for a marketing campaign,” he tells Racked. “I almost cried. There’s a certain way that a great leather jacket makes you feel. Everyone deserves that feeling, regardless of size or shape, and I’m here to bring more women that option.”