BK Hides, after your opinions

Discussion in 'Repros' started by Skip, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Skip

    Skip Active Member

    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Hello Everyone,

    I'm thinking of getting a civvi jacket and like their styles. I have a very early BK Vintage Horse before they went Victory, and also have a victory Horse which I like quite a lot but not at the current price, (its being discontinued now anyway) So, have 2 questions about Bill Kelso hides:

    1) Has anyone had experience with their Maltese goatskin the later examples the better, love to hear what you think in comparison say to a vintage ww2 era goat hide

    2) I bought my wife a liberty horse jacket, and really like the feel, texture and the way it ages. It does take a bit of time to break in, she still thinks its a bit stiff, but its way thicker than modern consumer leather, which these days is mainly pig. Like to know what you think in comparison to Goodwears Shinki, or Eastmans warhorse.

    Thanks Matt
     
  2. FlyingYankee

    FlyingYankee Member

    Messages:
    741
    purchased a BK for my first A-2. Nothing wrong with the hide but the customer service was the worst. I e-mailed about 6 times that I wanted longer sleeves 26" and I ended up with a stock size 44 with shorter sleeves. Dude named Andy got hostile and told me I didn't know how to measure a jacket.
     
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  3. Brent

    Brent Member

    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Olathe, KS
    I ordered an A-2 from BK in Sept '14 and received the jacket in Apr '15. Promised a six to eight week turn around. There were over 20 emails exchanged and more excuses than can be imagined. So yes the worst customer service. There is way too much to this story for on here, but you get the idea. The jacket is fine, the hide is thick and still not broken in. The only thing I can compare to is two Aero Leather A-2's horsehide and four USN G-1's goatskin. I'd put the BK at the bottom of my short list. Guess I'm still a little bitter.

    Regards,
     
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  4. zhz44

    zhz44 Member

    Messages:
    101
    I have no idea about the goatskin they have, but I heard it is thick and stiff.

    For liberty, I've seen and owned both the old and new batch, one of the best hide available. I prefer it more than shinki. Shinki is good, but it has that shiny, thick coating which I dont like. On the other hand, Liberty is same as the Italian horsehide used by Goodwear and Aero' vicenza, in fact, they from the same tannery, but the color is a bit different, and they both have a vintage look and feel better. The leather used by Eastman is very different, the newest leather is much better than the old one, but it has a wax feel which I dont like.
     
  5. Skip

    Skip Active Member

    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Thanks guys.

    Thanks for the heads up, I have ordered from them before 3 jackets, all of them I've had no issue with and I did hear about the cust service problems

    Good to know about the Liberty and that it's still the same, thanks for the info zhz44

    I'm leaning towards a Duke over the Wingman, just because it's a different style anyone have either and what do you think about them?
     
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  6. ausreenactor

    ausreenactor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,626
    Location:
    Mildura, heart of the Mallee.
    I have the Ultra vintage horsehide. Not sure if that russet is still available in any current variation. Can not fault it. Have not broken it in as yet; however, the colour is amazing. I was able to lay the pattern out on the hide the way I wanted it so my experience was a positive one.
     
  7. PADDY_M

    PADDY_M Active Member

    Messages:
    500
    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Customer Service is a big deal for me. Get it right (& why wouldn't you as a company? ) & I keep coming back & will market your praises to the hilt.
    But if you don't see it as important then I stay well clear and shop elsewhere.
    I'm cutting BK a wide berth as the negative feedback on the CS is too off putting.
     
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  8. interbak

    interbak Member

    Messages:
    61
    The only BK I have is one of their original m422A in goat. The goat is very stiff, and after handling a similar Goodwear, there is absolutely no comparison, GW all the way.
    The BK is a decent jacket, but I made the mistake of agreeing with another forum member on some of its shortcomings and got hassled and abused by Andy via PM and email, never again.

    B
     
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  9. Otter

    Otter Member

    Messages:
    332
    Don't set BK off on another Facebook rant please ! :)
     
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  10. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    Has any one been happy with there BK ,to be fair the jacket is $1000 cheaper than the Good Wear so there are compromises to be expected and it unfair to compare . For me as A2 Jackets get higher and higher in cost, and for me not having had a pay raise in 6 years . The Venerable A-2 is getting further and further from my reach let alone have a selection of different makers in my closet .

    BIP
     
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  11. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

    Messages:
    624
    Location:
    Norway
    I really like the look of some of their jackets but the customer service thing did put me off, and then the kicker was I got some PMs from one of them (Andy IIRC) over on TFL when I'd questioned their way of excessively blowing their own trumpet in some thread or other.
     
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  12. Otter

    Otter Member

    Messages:
    332
    Which is exactly why they ended up being kicked off of here. ;)

    Give them their due, they did know a lot about leather, they were just a little forthright and forceful about how they put it across.
     
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  13. omarco

    omarco Member

    Messages:
    502
    Location:
    hampshire countryside
    I liked having Platon on the forum and considered one of their A2's for a while back then. Now Platon's not here anymore i wouldn't even consider them to be honest.. though if what they say is to be believed, their hides are excellent ;-)

    As has been said already customer service is very important at this price level, at the very least you want know you will be looked after if the jacket don't fit.. personally i wouldn't risk it with them anymore.
     
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  14. regius

    regius Member

    Messages:
    318
    What leather do you like ;)



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Skip

    Skip Active Member

    Messages:
    813
    Location:
    Great Southern Land
    Couchy, I have a Werber in the same ordered when they started ramping up production 2-3 years ago?, which I think you asked me about before ordering yours. It keeps getting better as the months pass by, one of my favourites.

    Hey Bomb, I'm not sure on the split (50/50?), but there is a fair bit of negative feedback here and elsewhere which I think is warranted considering some of our members here having the bad service, as well as the level of what you might call overly strong "advertising" that went on a few years back. They did tend to puff themselves up and put down other makers which in my book is not a good thing. One never hears of that conduct coming from the likes of Goodwear, Eastman and Aero, nor even the consumer makers, its just not a good look, kind of adolescent schoolyard antics; to which I would say Grow up and get on with it. a good product should doesn't need any egotistical advertising, it should be able to stand up and be proud by its own merits and not by putting others down. It could be just a culture thing, who knows.

    Having said that, I haven't had the issues that others here have mentioned, my experience has always been matter fact and business like, and as such I have mentioned it here previously, there have been delays on at least 2 jackets which took a further 2 months to complete due to waiting on leather stock, (a drop in the ocean compared to what others had to endure) but Andy advised as such offering different leathers if so desired. I've just realised I've had more than 3 probably 5 jackets in to total and 1 for the misses. All of which if you care to search my previous posts have been listed in this forum. I'm no expert and not as 'originally' minded as some here so my opinion on their stuff is purely subjective based on what I want a jacket to be. All the BK leathers I've come across are great from what I want, but they seem to need a bit of working in before they become "comfortable". The quality of design and make is excellent, the authenticity of original makers (which is not as important to me) is not as top notch as say Eastman/Goodwear. But for the price you are getting an excellent product that will last "forever".

    MY favourites still in my wardrobe are:

    - Werber 1402P (as Couchy mentioned - Ultra Vintage Horse) Drapes and ages unreal, a tough thick leather but supremely comfortable now that its worn in
    - ANJ3 in Dark Victory Horse. I asked a few years back if they would make an ANJ3 for me and the jacket in the link is the one we worked on:
    http://www.billkelsomfg.com/store/en.php?p=productview&prod=11

    Roughwear collar, berry knits, torso design taken from their navy jackets, I also added hand pockets behind the patch pockets. Love Victory horse, takes a lot of wearing in but when it does its really something, alas its no more, I think they made it too expensive.

    Hence why I'm asking what the modern Liberty is like, I can see what its like visually from my wife's Duke (unreal), but as I can't fit into hers I'd like to know what it feels like when on. So I understand all the above which has been spoken, and i know what went on as I read it as it happened.

    But I really would like to know if anyone has a Duke or a Wingman, what its like to wear especially if its Liberty Horse. Sorry its taken a bit long to get to this...
     
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  16. zhz44

    zhz44 Member

    Messages:
    101
    My favorite is Liberty HH. Especially the black liberty, the best HH I've ever seen in my life.
     
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  17. zhz44

    zhz44 Member

    Messages:
    101
    I am very happy with my BK jackets. All of them. Yes, I agree with most of you here, the customer service is not as good as others, the waiting time is unstable etc, etc.

    But the quality of the jacket, which is most important to me, is one of the best you can get. I'd say it as good as Goodwear, better than Eastman and Aero, the accuracy is also very good, sadly, I dont have the original to compare with the BK jacket I have, but from the photo, I'd say they are very accurate.
     
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  18. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,881
    i think its just one of those "no coke, pepsi" kinda things with bk. the hh used on their jackets, is top notch. i have an "aeronaut" in cape, and a hb in liberty hh. both are made beautifully, with the hb done with "french" seams [butted and top sewn] all around. service is slow sometimes, but considering that each jacket is hand made, it is not out of line. all of the top repro companys make their jackets by hand, and there is always some wait time. with aero-scotland its less so, elc and dd somewhere in the middle, and gw, perhaps the longest. want it now? dont care if it sorta like an original? plasticy hides? get an avirex, cooper, us wings, etc.
     
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  19. bretron

    bretron Member

    Messages:
    447
    Location:
    Cascadia, USA
    I've owned two BKs and have a third in natural badalassi on the way shortly. Those guys can be real rascals, but (speaking for myself) Ive always found the positives to far outweigh any negatives.

    Really looking forward to this new jacket; it's gonna be time to thin the herd though I'm afraid!
     
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  20. colekwok

    colekwok Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    London UK
    I dealt with the early BK, actually from the beginning. It was a pleasant experience though. There was no bragging whatsoever and there was in fact, no name for the leather they used to make my Dubow. I posted some photos of the jackets and created a small debate about whether they had pre-treated my jacket wit the 'hot water treatment'. Honestly, I was also put off by you guys here for ordering a second jacket from them since then and then that price hike..... But then again, I also had some 'not so' pleasant experience with the former Aero team as well, so it can happen with any companies.
     
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