Fashion Pwns Bikes

Did you know that fashion retailers have an derogatory acronym for cyclists? MAMILS: middle-aged men in Lycra shorts. Well, spokesperson for Urban Outfitters, who is in the business of spotting trends, globalizing the product into cheap knock offs, and retailing them: insert insult generator here.

There's a whole week's worth of OP/EDs in the attached LA Times article on how fashion pwns bikes.

"The companies aren't actually making bikes but rather putting their designer imprint on them." Read that as Dutch bike knockoffs with pretty paint. Or how bikes have, "become moving billboards." Brilliant! Just like bike racing.

Bicycles going couture isn't new, we've seen it on runways, fashion week, and limited editions, but a belief that they can pwn the market selling 10 to 50 bikes with expensive paint jobs is. It's also not new. We've covered it on Bike Hugger for 5 years like +Richard Masoner on Cyclelicious. Before that, find celebs on bikes and their constant presence in media. Even today, watch cable for an hour to see a bike in an ad.

Worse is the stereotype of an enthusiast. Who do you think owns more than one bike and has the budget for a $1,000, 3-speed that'll match their Kate Spade dress? Middle Aged Women in Lyrca Shorts: MAWILS. The same woman competing at a Danskin on the weekend, is probably interested in biking to work. Marketing by dividing a community with stereotypes isn't very smart, equally lacking insight is the comment from Adeline Adeline's

"I would like to get bikes away from sports into a place where people incorporate their bikes into their lives."

You don't see the diet industry's spokesman saying, "wear this gear and not the gear that the fatties wear." Nobody incorporates bikes into their lives more than the enthusiast and they're the influencers on their friends, neighbors, and relatives that ask, "what bike should I get." Few would say, "I highly recommend a Kate Spade" or "get one at Urban Outfitters." They also wouldn't say, "you shouldn't get one unless you commit to riding on it in jeans."

All of our enthusiasm for urban cycling, including my own and Bike Hugger's, doesn't move the needle. To see it really spike, we've got to look at cycling as a whole, a community together, and a demographic that spends. Not one divided by silly acronyms or who decides what to buy from the lastest fashion taste maker's campaign.

First Ever Tweed Run

While writing this, I saw a glorious tweed ride in the NYT from every bike blogger's hero, Bill Cunningham. +Michael Pusateri saw it too. Note that it's the business of fashion to spot street trends and rush it out to your closest mall. There's no buzzkill, I run social rides myself, just a reality check. That's not the first time cyclists have done a Tweed Ride in NYC or other cities, including Toronto, Seattle, Vancouver.

http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/10/21/fashion/100000001127397/bill-cunningham-natty.html

Also see

http://bikehugger.com/tag/fashion
http://bikehugger.com/tag/tweed
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