Bill Morgan started making leather garments in the heady days of 1967 with the help of his 'Summer of Love' girlfriend. Joining him were his brother Frank and his best friend Michael Hoban and together they skipped merrily down the Yellow Brick Road of Hippiedom. They gained a reputation for making sensational leather garments for the world's celebrities, thus their moniker 'Tailors to the Stars'.
In the beginning, mostly entertainers and especially rock and roll bands, were in line for North Beach Leathers' outrageous stagewear. Soon, as they began opening stores across the USA, the general public 'turned on' to leather and what was once the sole realm of bikers and cowboys, was now worn by all who could afford the luxury. Starting humbly on the streets of San Francisco, at its zenith NBL had 14 stores, from Honolulu to London.
North Beach Leathers - Tailors to the Stars documents his trials, tribulations and joys of those historic times. He tells of his interaction with the likes of Elvis, Jimi, Janis, Miles, Mick, Cher, Santana, the Dead, Creedance, Quicksilver et al, and shows in beautiful color photos the leather fashions of the last half century that shined most brightly - many modelled by supermodels such as Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Charlize Theron and Paulina.
Bill is a true San Franciscan: he sold papers as a kid on the corner of Haight and Ashbury; he set a new Prep City mile mark for Lowell High School and received a degree from S.F. State College. As a world class runner, he established a new record for the Bay to Breakers foot race and represented his country in the USA-USSR track meet at Kiev. It was during and immediately after the 10km event of this meet that Bill made the history books by being the first person ever seen via satellite TV.
He found time to spend a year (1966) travelling around Brazil, exporting handicrafts to Cost Plus Imports. All this before letting his hair grow long and picking up a tape measure and leather shears.
Bill's other books include The Golden Age of American Distance Running - the 1965 USA National Track Team and a treatise on fly fishing, The Life and Death of a Trout Stream - The Upper Sacramento River Story. Bill currently resides in Rio de Janeiro where he continues to design and make fabulous leather garments.