Falcon Garments is an online streetwear brand that specializes in custom leather jackets. Known for offering high quality custom leather jackets at a super competitive price point, Falcon Garments has garnered so many great reviews across different fashion forums such as StyleForum and Reddit. I first heard about this online brand from my guy friends, and after mentioning them in my blog post, Daniel (one of the two founders, the other one is Charly) reached out to me on Instagram and shared their story behind the brand.
Falcon Garments – Custom Leather Jackets
SK: Before Falcon Garments, what did you guys do? Are you guys full time making custom leather jackets now?
D: I am full time on Falcon Garments. I used to be a corporate guy working in Finance. After 8 years of my typical 9-5 job, I’m pretty much like “Fuck this! Let’s make custom leather jackets.” It’s so amazing that I never have to go back to my corporate job. I love making clothes, and I feel that this is an honest job. When I worked in finance, everything was so intangible. It’s all about excel sheets and crunching numbers. But with Falcon Garments, we actually make a physical product and giving it back to the community. The happiness and the overall satisfaction our customers get is very heartwarming. It’s really awesome to hear people say “this custom leather jacket fits me awesome, and it looks good.” It’s an honest job, and I really like it.
C: I am still working as a business analyst at a typical corporate job.
D: I still remembered that Charly and I went back and forth about the day when we launched. I was actually really nervous, but Charly was the more aggressive one. He was so adamant about opening Falcon Garments, and I’m glad that we went ahead and launched it. Ever since then, we have never looked back.
SK: How did you guys start Falcon Garments?
D + C: We both worked for a leather jacket brand before. Leveraging the same business model, Charly and I decided to create our own custom leather jacket brand with the same experience and resources we had. We started Falcon Garments in the beginning of Sep in 2015, and the fan base from the previous brand helps us a lot.
SK: In your opinion, what makes Falcon Garments stand out from other custom leather jacket brands?
D + C: Our custom leather jackets are designed by our customers. We have a lot of respect for our customers, and we value their opinions and design our jackets based on their feedback. We mainly market our brand via online fashion forums, and you know how online fashion forums are – people are brutally honest. What I think helps us a lot is the fact that we listen to what they want and incorporate their needs into our design.
We also started off with a classic and modern fit. We didn’t go too extreme with our initial leather jacket, but we let people customize their colors and leather types.
SK: How did you guys get the name out there?
D + C: Mainly through Styleforum and word of mouth. People come back with good feedback and post a lot of good reviews. Essentially, our product speaks for itself and goes around within the community. Charly is also very friendly and posts beyond just custom leather jackets and streetwear. A kid from NYC posted a jacket from us, and Charly went out and hung out with him. That started the community, and our name just got out by word of mouth.
Also, I think that nowadays, people like niche brands a lot. They like brands that are not easily accessible because there is some cult to it. I think that if we were to sell through main channels, Falcon Garments wouldn’t have gotten as much attraction.
SK: Prior to Falcon Garments, did you have any background in fashion and clothing production? Can you tell us the initial process to make custom leather jackets?
D: I didn’t have any experience at all prior to Falcon Garments. My clothing experience had only gone to suits and corporate wear because I used to do corporate finance. From there, I learned about suit making and bespoke clothing. And then, we transformed to a more refined streetwear brand and decided to make custom leather jackets. But yeah, we all started with the basic, classic suit. We learned about sizing, fitting, and draping. We pretty much learned everything from the ground up.
D + C: We had a painful start. we kept going out there and asking questions. People were actually really friendly and pointed us to the right direction. We went to so many different tailors and saw how they constructed the jackets. There are a lot that goes on behind the scene that you don’t really see from the outside of the jacket, but the internal components are very important and complicated.
In terms of finding our tailor, we took a long time. we found this tailor who was famous for making varsity jackets in Korea, because that’s how Korean kids show off their education and where they are from. From there, we connected with different people in the industry. And then, we had to go to the market and ask questions about leather types. With leather, there are a lot of different types of leather and origins.
Now, we source our lamb leather from Korea, New Zealand, and Italy. And we mainly source our calf from Korea. We focus on the dye quality, the thickness, and the overall feel of the leather.
SK: How do you manage to keep the price point so competitive?
D + C: We purchase our leather as we go, and so we don’t have a lot of overhead. The second thing is that we stay online. We were approached by retail stores before, but we decided to stay online to keep our prices low and our customer happy. When you go to department stores, a lot of leather jackets run from 3K to 4K. I used to be like – “why is this so much?”. But after making clothes, I started to understand the values and the components that go into it. We started buying fancy stuff to. We had to remodel all the jackets from our previous brand.
SK: What is the most important thing when it comes to making custom leather jacket?
D + C: The sizing is the most important thing. Our consumers are fit-nazi, and they are all into raw denim. You know how raw denim exploded and developed. We felt the same way about leather jackets –
- A leather jacket should feel like a second skin with the way it conforms and fits the body
- The patina a leather jacket acquires over time.
These characteristics about leather jackets are similar to raw denim. It’s personal with leather jackets. And so we pay a lot of attention to the fit and the sizing when it comes to custom leather jackets.
D: Charly is really good at sizing because he transforms from 130 – 200 lbs. He doubles his weight, and his sizing is on point. From people’s feedback, Charly actually does a really good job, and we are really easy about wrong sizing. We also have an online exposure, and we actually return jackets that don’t fit well.
SK: Starting a business is not easy. What lessons did you learn after starting Falcon Garments?
D + C: Be as transparent as possible. We also cap our order number, so no one will have to wait for more than 2-3 weeks.
SK: Do you guys make custom leather jackets for women?
D: Yes, we do. Charly gets really good at sizing, and we usually get women’s orders from their boyfriends.
C: Typically, guys care more about the quality and longevity of their clothes, versus women tend to care more about the style and the trend. But little by little, women start caring more about the quality and longevity of their clothes as well. That’s where we come into play.
SK: This has been a really fun interview! Before letting you guys go, can you give us some tips on shopping for a leather jacket?
C+K: Pay attention to the fit, the sizing and the over construction. The most important thing is how the jacket is made. Look at the internal part, the sleeves , the waist, the collar, the stitching and the overall appearance.
I always love learning about other people’s startup stories. If you have a story to share, please drop me a message! I would love to interview you. If you have other questions about custom leather jackets, please leave a comment!
Last year, I interviewed Andrea from Gårdendal, an ethical leather company based in Sweden. If you are interested, you can find our conversation here.
Serena and I took these pictures on a Thursday night right after I flew back to LA. I was super tired, but so glad we did it! It’s always fun to shoot with Serena and get late night desserts after. Hope you enjoy these pictures! 🙂
Smile and styles on~