Michael Hoban’s North Beach Leather Dress – makes a return!

with 14 comments

Fashette.wordpress.com is the Official meeting place for Michael Hoban’s North Beach Leather (NBL). Read below correspondence from NBL Founder & Designer Michael Hoban, NBL ex-General Manager Skip Pas &amp and Catherine Hoban (Michael Hoban’s daughter); fans!!! Thank you for your support ♥♥♥

UPDATE ** Catherine Hoban, Michael Hoban’s daughter recently contacted Fashette, to set the record straight on North Beach Leather and Skip Pas. See comments section below.

UPDATE ** Mr Skip Pas, ex-general manager of North Beach Leather,  recently contacted Fashette to announce West Coast Leather’s new store in Chicago!

Submitted on: Nov 10, 2010 @ 22:02,

“North Beach Leather went into a General Assignment in 2003 . At that time i started a new company West Coast Leather . I kept the name North Beach Leather for 2 years under a licence with the California Courts . We own all the old paterns from the old company and have continued to creat new collections yearly each  Spring and Fall. Leather has become the focus of all the top designers in the world and look for a mega year in 2011 . West Coast Leather has 2 retail locations in San Francisco and a new location at the Water Tower Place in Chicago on Michigan Ave .. We use only the top Italian lambskins and creat these designs in our design studio boutique location at 290 Sutter Street ..”

Fashette would like to thank  Mr Michael Hoban for his comments on  our  post, this is such an honor!

Mr Michael Hoban writes:

Dear Fashette,

I enjoyed reading this article, however my only correcting is that Skip Pass does own North Beach Leather. Yes, he was general manager of the San Francisco store for about 1o years, but now owns his own company called West Coast Leather (completely separate from my ex-company) . Mr. Pass was only general manager and has never owned even a small share of NBL.

Michael Hoban was one of the first designers in the 1960s to introduce counterculture leather jackets and clothing to Hollywood’s celebrities;  Including Supermodel Cindy Crawford (seen in the Ad campaigns).

Micheal was born in the rough Roxbury section of Boston where, in the 1950s, he was the leader of the Warriors, a teenage street gang. He was later to use the street gang clothing of that time as inspiration for many of his designs.

But in the summer of 2003, after insurmountable financial troubles, Hoban lost the business, and he has since relocated to Hawaii. The company is now owned by 46-year-old Skip Pas, Hoban’s former general manager, who kept the famous name and the clingy designs. Only one North Beach Leather store remains, on Grant Avenue, on Union Square.

Most recently vintage “North Beach” leather  styles  with gold buttons,  have been a popular celebrity choice. Read more here

Above, Paris Hilton wore a sleek red leather dress, in LA this year.

Ece Sukan at Paris Fashion week this year, chose  a vintage military North Beach dress.

Maria Sharapova sported a stunning  leather dress by  Vintage Chanel at the ESPY Awards 2007.

Angelina Jolie wore a fierce Michael Kors leather dress for theInglourious Basterds’ premiere.

Images: imageshack,ivallage, coolspotters

Cindy & Stephanie (1998)


14 Responses

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  1. Dear Fashette,

    I enjoyed reading this article, however my only correcting is that Skip Pass does own North Beach Leather. Yes, he was general manager of the San Francisco store for about 1o years, but now owns his own company called West Coast Leather (completely separate from my ex-company) . Mr. Pass was only general manager and has never owned even a small share of NBL.

    -Michael Hoban

    Michael Hoban

    September 18, 2009 at 3:00 am

    • Does anyone know how to contact Michael Hoban either by email or phone? I’m trying to replace a leather jacket that I purchased from North Beach Leather here at Water Tower Place in Chicago 22 years ago.

      I did manage to find West Coast Leather in San Francisco and spoke to Skip Pass. He does have the pattern for this heavy winter jacket, and in fact, after I emailed him a photo of my old jacket, he in turn emailed me a photo showing me the same jacket curently in his stock, saying he could reproduce mine.

      Although difficult to tell from just a photo, the quality of the leather and overall workmanship doesn’t appear to be the same. The price is only a little more than what I paid in 1988, and I seem to recall seeing the jacket selling at more than three times what I paid shortly before the Chicago store closed around 8 years ago.

      I’d like to get the lowdown from Michael Hoban himself as to what’s actually going on here. It seems like he would retain all the patterns of his designs.

      Herb Roman

      February 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

    • Hi Michael,

      So glad to see you “correct” the print. Hope all is well and want you to know that working for you for 17 years was AWESOME!

      God Bless You

      Sharon the Leather Baron(ess)

      January 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    • Hey Michael! i own one of your original yellow leather jackets, i was given it as a gift from Stuart Epps who was Elton Johns engineer.. theres an interesting story with this beautiful jacket.. Elton gave the jacket to Gus Dudgeon his producer way back.. Gus died together with his wife when his e type jaguar spun of and ended up in a river…sadly they both drowned… Stuart gave me the Jacket a few years ago.. its yellow leather with tassles and an increadable style thats a showstopper where ever i werar it! ive never felt softer leather! i will wear it when i visit LA later this year.. Steve Cline Singer.. stevecline53@yahoo.com

      Steve Cline

      January 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

  2. I have 4 Michael Hoban leather dresses, from the 80’s. Do you know where I can sell them?


    September 24, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  3. I have a Michael Hoban North beach Leather “stop sign” jacket. I am curious to know when it was made and approximate value. I can send picture.

    Manny Cantu

    September 19, 2010 at 10:07 pm

  4. I have three NBL dresses with jackets that I would like to sell. They were all purchased at the Water Tower Place in Chicago. Anyone interested in purchasing please contact me. All in new condition.

    The white one: T back dress with a white jacket with gold star buttons.

    The purple one: more like lavender color with circles cut outs at the bottom. The jacket also has cut out circles down the arm.

    The red one: red dress. The jacket matches the red dress and has several layers of leather, gold, white silver. It’s has a dragon on the back. A definite must see.

    Anyone interested please email me.


    October 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

  5. There will only be one North Beach Leather! Michael, we miss you, and love you!

    Jim Murray

    November 15, 2010 at 11:56 pm

  6. Michael is credited with pushing leather into the American mass market.
    Michael dressed Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elvis Presley, Elton Jones,The Rolling Stones , Bruce Springsteen ,Michael Douglas ,Cher ,Prince, Billy Joel ,Tina Turner and many more.
    A NBL exhibition would be awesome!


    November 16, 2010 at 4:36 am

  7. If you have any further comments and questions, please email me,
    E-mail: fashette@googlemail.com


    November 16, 2010 at 7:20 am

  8. Hello Mr. Hoban

    I have an original 8 ball leather jacket w/tag label WHEREMI 1991 that i’ve had for a long time and has kept in very good condition. To this day i still receive a lot of looks and compliments on the jacket.


    James Winston Sr.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm

  9. P.S.

    Please send a follow-up comment to my e-mail address.

    James Winston Sr.

    January 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

  10. `;” I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ~;`

    Liquid Vitamin

    January 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

  11. Oh Skip, learn how to spell create! Although you “own” all of my Dad’s designs (so you say), and are free to remake them (and are obviously attempting to do so) no matter how hard you try you will never be able to truly or successfully recreate one of North Beach Leather’s original designs. It’s similar Plato’s idea of perfect, which is the belief that although you might have the pattern for that perfect design and that you might also be able to visually imagine the look of that perfect design, you will never be able to reach or physically create that perfect design no matter how hard you try!

    Catherine Hoban

    April 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm

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