How a Vivid Dream and Guns N' Roses Helped Ayler Young Create Hollywood's Favorite Bomber Jacket
The musician turned designer opens up about the perfect fit, luxe fabrics and his brand-new e-commerce shop.
In a little over eight months, musician Ayler Young has not only established a bustling bomber jacket business, but he’s also managed to get on the radar of supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner — the most coveted exposure for any emerging fashion brand.
But it’s not just the millennial model set that Young’s L.A.-based bomber brand, Philip Ayler (Young’s legal first name is Philip), has managed to impress. Mickey Rourke, Sean Penn and Owen Wilson are among the diverse bunch who have been spotted in Philip Ayler digs, proving their multigenerational appeal.
Young's infatuation with the bomber jacket style was born out of a vivid dream, he says, in which the designer saw himself wearing a maroon bomber jacket. Rather serendipitously, the next day he was gifted a maroon bomber jacket by a friend — and it became his go-to look.
"It wasn’t just a jacket to keep me warm — it made me feel good," he said of the goes-with-anything piece. After receiving numerous compliments on the bomber, he decided to start making his own.
It wasn't long before the jackets caught the attention of his first major client: Guns N’ Roses. "I started making these samples and someone from Guns N’ Roses asked me to make their tour jackets," noted Young.
"I just got launched into making a couple hundred for the band and their closest friends," he said of the customized jackets he created first for the band's Coachella shows and then for their Not in This Lifetime tour.
But it's his more couture-like designs that have caught the attention of the fashion set. Young sources high-quality textiles — many of them scraps from vintage Chanel and Armani boucles — for exclusive, limited-edition jackets. Lined with 100 percent Italian silk, the styles are also reversible — a feature of which Hadid has been particularly fond.
On Monday, Young officially launched his e-commerce shop, where the jackets ($1,495-$2,495) are available. His creations are also in the vintage shop What Goes Around Comes Around, which will stock them both online and in stores. “It’s crazy to see my jackets next to all these vintage designer pieces,” said Young, who met the owners of the shop when he was living in New York.
Young has since moved to Los Angeles, where he’s lived for a year and a half and where his business is headquartered. "It was definitely a conscious decision to use only local companies, from where I make my labels to where I make my trim," he said of keeping the business close to home.
In business less than a year, Young says he plans to stay focused on one thing for now. "Part of the beautiful thing about the company is that it’s a simple idea, and I’m really paying tribute to all these incredible fabrics."