You get a bike! And you get a bike! That's basically what the past year in fashion has looked like.
It seems as if everyone and their mother have taken up cycling as a hobby throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and fashion brands have started to notice. In the past few weeks alone, we've seen collaborations from Stella McCartney x Cannondale, Kenzo x Brompton, as well as Jacquemus x VanMoof, and most recently, the Super73 S2 from Saint Laurent.
Luxury bikes are nothing new. Remember that Kris van Assche Dior BMX? Or the various Louis Vuitton monogram bikes? There are plenty of examples out there, ranging from expensive to wow I could buy a car with that money prices.
It's not just the luxury brands who are jumping on the trend, we've previously seen collaborations from Palace x Cannondale (owned by Virgil Abloh), and JJJJound recently dropped a two-wheeler of its own. We've also seen Stüssy's W-BASE, Supreme's dirt bike, and Palm Angels' MATE.BIKE – you get it. At this rate, if you're not doing bikes then what the hell are you doing?
So what is it about the fashion bike that is so exciting? Has luxury gone too far when it has penetrated yet another industry?
For the actual cycling enthusiasts, there's no way they'd be caught dead on a luxury vehicle – not because they're bad, but because they're not actually for cycling. Most of the time, they're mainly used for decor, or by hobby cyclists.
Of course, most of the expensive luxury bike collaborations are collector's objects. Dior's Bogarde bike currently retails at $25,000 USD, and plenty of others retail for even more. That's not something you want to lock up at your nearest bike stand.
Regardless of whether fashion understands cycling or not, the influx of biking designs and collaborations prove that the sport is continuing to grow, and with cool brands like Rapha spearheading it for younger, streetwear-interested cyclists, two-wheel transportation isn't going anywhere.
There's definitely money to be made, there's no doubt about it, but the real cyclists only care about quality. Living in big cities, cycling has proven to be the perfect exercise as well as a mode of transportation – especially when living in a pandemic and our environment is in dire need of help. The fashion enthusiast, however, cares about style above everything.
So, the fashion bike lives on – for now – until it jumps on the next big thing that can be luxury-fied. Y2K fashion, bicycles, what will be the next trend to get the treatment?