Keanu Reeves as Johnny Utah, ambitious FBI agent
Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia, Spring 1991
Film: Point Break
Release Date: July 12, 1991
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Costume Supervisors: Colby P. Bart & Louis Infante
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Happy birthday to Keanu Reeves, born September 2, 1964. Born in Beirut, Reeves spent his childhood moving between several countries around the world, including Australia, which would later be the setting for the finale of Point Break, one of the Reeves’ first major movies and a cult favorite 30 years after its release.
After spending much of the movie pursuing, befriending, and ultimately losing the enigmatic surfer-turned-bank robber Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), FBI agent Johnny Utah leads a task force to Bells Beach in Victoria, where he knows Bodhi will be pursuing his lifelong dream of surfing the “50-year storm”, even if it means his own death. (Despite the Australian setting, the “Bells Beach” scene was actually filmed at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach, Oregon.)
What’d He Wear?
Though Johnny Utah isn’t the one planning a fateful last ride into the storm, his Lee Storm Rider is appropriate for the climactic sequence that finds him tracking Bodhi to the edge of the surf.
The Storm Rider had been developed during the mid-20th century as Lee was vying against Levi’s and Wrangler for American denim supremacy. Based in Kansas, H.D. Lee Corporation had pioneered its denim 101J “Cowboy Jacket” in the 1930s, which evolved into the blanket-lined 101LJ that also boasted a tan pinwale corduroy collar. To capitalize on its intended purpose to provide a warm layer for cowboys riding through storms, Lee re-branded their popular work jacket as the Storm Rider in the fall of 1953. (As of August 2021, Lee still offers the Storm Rider, albeit an updated iteration.)
Lee has kept the Storm Rider’s styling points relatively consistent over the decades, as seen on Utah’s light blue denim jacket that has six copper rivet buttons up the front detailed with Lee’s signature zigzag contrast stitch around the buttonholes on the left side. Two chest pockets are positioned just below the horizontal chest yoke on each side, with flaps that close through a single rivet button. A pleat strip extends down each side of the front from under the pocket flap down to the waistband. Each cuff also closes through a single button, and there’s a short adjuster-tab on each side of the waistband that closes through a rivet button.
Utah wears his generously sized Storm Rider over a tight charcoal gray cotton crew-neck T-shirt, tucked into light blue denim jeans that appear to be Levi’s.
Utah holds up his jeans with a brown woven leather belt that closes through a large silver-toned single-prong buckle.
Utah completes his look with a pair of brown oiled leather work boots, which have a plain toe, lugged soles, and open derby lacing through gold eyelets.
How to Get the Look
Johnny Utah arguably pulls off the controversial “double denim” effect by layering his classic Lee Storm Rider jacket with jeans and the simple accompanying pieces of a dark T-shirt, woven leather belt, and work boots. If you’re determined to wear it in the rain, I’d just recommend adding another layer with more water-resistant properties than flannel-lined denim.
- Blue denim Lee Storm Rider blanket-lined “cowboy jacket” with tan pinwale corduroy collar, rivet buttons, two button-down flap chest pockets, button cuffs, and button-tab side adjusters
- Charcoal-gray cotton crew-neck T-shirt
- Light blue denim Levi’s jeans
- Brown woven leather belt with silver-toned single-prong buckle
- Brown oiled leather plain-toe derby-laced work boots
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the movie.
Vaya con dios.