Frank Thomas was created in 1982, by two entrepreneurs, Peter Laughton and David Wooding, who founded a company to make motorcycle boots and named it Frank Thomas because it sounded like a traditional, classic, British name.
Northampton is famous for its quality shoes and Peter and David used about 300 local outworkers from the industry to make the boots in their homes. Peter would then take these to sell at motorcycle shows up and down the country.
Back in the early 80’s motorcycle gear was very conservative and generally only available in black so Frank Thomas being an innovative company, in association with top riders Ron Haslam and Roger Marshall, developed racing boots in a range of bright colours.
These boots proved to be extremely popular, the company was selling them as fast as they could make them, and the eye-catching colours propelled Frank Thomas to the forefront of the motorcycle clothing world.
At a Silverstone race meeting, where Peter & David were promoting Frank Thomas, Peter noticed that whilst lots of racegoers were wearing motorcycle boots, many weren’t, giving the genesis of an idea.
A pioneering new style of motorcycle boot was born, the motorcycle trainer, marketed as the Frank Thomas paddock boot these short motorcycle shoes were an overnight sensation.
Innovations continued to flow out of the company, the launch of a motorcycle boot specifically designed for Ladies, the “Kinkee boot”, and the first ever waterproof leather motorcycle boot.
The leather stitching and fabrication skills needed for boot manufacture enabled Frank Thomas to easily expand into making gloves with David, who was a mechanical engineer, ensuring that the company had the machinery to make this happen.
In 1983, in keeping with their constant innovation they produced the first ever waterproof motorcycle glove.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, the dynamic duo expanded the company’s range of motorcycle clothing to include: leather suits, jackets, and jeans and textile jackets and jeans, quickly earning a very positive reputation for their Aqua range of waterproof textile motorcycle clothing.
Frank Thomas has continued to flourish and expand, innovating and developing products for motorcyclists. The range on offer now includes helmets, luggage, base layers, neck warmers and balaclavas.