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SHOPPING MENSWEAR

Jack's back

September 30, 2007|Adam Tschorn | Times Staff Writer

IF you've just finished speed-reading your 50th-anniversary reissue of "On the Road" and yearn to cloak yourself in the mantle of the Beat life, the folks at Italian leather company Hogan have made it possible -- kind of. The Jack Kerouac Project, available in Europe since June and just now hitting the U.S. market, coincides with the semicentennial of Kerouac's most famous work.

The company is offering cigar-brown leather high-top sneakers ($295) and rugged-looking distressed work boots with a turned-down contrasting nubuck collar flap ($475) inspired by the Beat Generation icon and his cross-country, Benzedrine-fueled shenanigans. Other preppy-meets-road-scholar items in the six-piece capsule collection include a book bag (to stash your dogeared copy of "Dharma Bums"), travel bag (for lugging your earthly possessions coast to coast, $1,290) and backpack (for porting your assorted hooch), all in soft, chocolate brown calf leather.

But the standout piece in the collection also happens to be Hogan's first foray into apparel -- a supple, brown leather bomber jacket with two large cargo-style pockets and a second ribbed-knit collar over the leather collar ($1,590) based on a jacket once worn by Kerouac.

Done in cooperation with the Kerouac Foundation, the capsule collection will be continued -- with more pieces added -- for spring/summer '08. It's not the first time the author, who died in 1969 at age 47, has been a style icon. In the 1990s he was a posthumous pitchman for Gap alongside the line: "Kerouac wore khakis."

Although capsule pieces may be ordered over the phone, their sole bricks-and-mortar availability is through Hogan's New York City boutique.

Road trip, anyone?

Available at 134 Spring St., New York, or (888) 60-HOGAN.

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adam.tschorn@latimes.com

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