British motorcycle and clothing heritage brand Matchless London has unveiled a leather jacket inspired by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Matchless London — whose celebrity fanbase includes Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler and Dwayne Johnson — said the $1,699 “Putin” jacket is lifted from a capsule collection comprising wares inspired by the controversial leader and his penchant for the great outdoors. The full range, which has been meticulously crafted from wax cotton and high-performance leathers, is slated to drop sometime in early 2018.
Putin is the latest figure to join the brand’s limited-edition “heroes” lineup, joining real and fictitious names including Han Solo, Marlon Brando, James Bond and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In a statement, Matchless London managing director Manuele Malenotti appeared unperturbed at the potential ramifications of aligning the brand with such a controversial figure. He said:
We consider Russian President Vladimir Putin a modern superhero as well, giving personal respect to his strong character, brutal image, sense of humor and calmness as a world leader.
Malenotti clarified his brand’s position further to Forbes, claiming Matchless London hopes to crack the lucrative Russian market in the future:
Russia is a very strong potential market for a luxury brand such as Matchless [and we’re] keen to expand there in the forthcoming years. As for it being controversial, my point of view is that fashion is art. Fashion designers are artists [and] politics is a great source of inspiration and debate.
Established back in 1899, Matchless London opened the doors on a Los Angeles location last year. How the Putin collection will go down in the States remains to be seen.
In related news, have you ever wondered why Russia is so obsessed with Vladimir Putin merchandise?
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