Fashion designers put their marques on bicycles
Bicycles are going couture. Ralph Lauren, Missoni and Kate Spade, better known for stylish clothe, are taking up a new product line, designer bicycles — and they are selling fast. Three-speed bicycles with the trademark zigzag and striped patterns of italian fashion sign of the zodiac Missoni about sold out the day of their presentation at Target this month, and only a few are hush available in scatter stores.
The two-wheelers, which cost $ 399, got a jumpstart from a covetous celebrity tweet by actress Jessica Alba. One version — with a distinct copper-color convention — sold out the first day and has resold for angstrom a lot as $ 1,279.95 on eBay. They were snapped up by customers such as Connie Chen, a Portland, Ore., industrial mastermind and periodic bicycle passenger. “ I was truly drawn to the patterns of the paint and the fact that it was a designer bicycle and was identical authoritative with a leather seat and a basket, ” Chen said. fashion designers like bicycles because, unlike cars, they are relatively easy and cheap to customize in ways that produce dramatic ocular results and “ become moving billboards ” for their exploit, said Constance Winters, who runs the popular blog Lovely Bicycle ( www.lovelybicycle.com ). In summation to writing on the technical issues of cycle, she has been following the intersection of bicycles and high manner. Designers are putting their depression on the two-wheelers through extra color schemes, logos and component choice, much leaning to leather saddles, grips and handlebar magnetic tape. “ Bicycles besides require accessories, such as handlebar bags and panniers, which is right up fashion designers ‘ bowling alley, ” Winters said. This month, Ralph Lauren ‘s Rugby division will unveil a $ 2,200 limited-edition men ‘s two-speed leather-saddled “ roadster ” bicycle and accompanying line of flannel cycle clothes, the manner firm ‘s interpretation of what sporting men and women might have worn before World War II. Earlier this year, Kate Spade New York partnered with boutique Manhattan bicycle retailer Adeline Adeline to offer a European-style women ‘s single-speed two-wheel in a distinctive green and bicycle bags to sell at the shop class and Kate Spade stores nationally. Kate Spade advertises that the “ enclosed chain case keeps hemlines safely out of harm ‘s way. ” “ many companies are looking for any association that they feel is cool and links with young person or a product which is very fashionable, ” said Paul Smith, the english fashion designer. “ A bicycle is no exception. ” Although demand for these bicycles is rising, they hush make up merely a bantam part of what ‘s sold annually in the U.S. Kate Spade has produced 100 bicycles, including 30 that went to the Shutters on the Beach hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., to rent to guests. Ralph Lauren will sell just 50 bikes. target ‘s was the most democrat venture, with about 1,700 stores selling one women ‘s Missoni bicycle exemplar and the company ‘s on-line business selling more Missoni models, including a men ‘s bicycle.
The limited total of these fashion bikes is one of the attractions, said Elsa Termenon, a Philadelphia-based writer for swedish magazines and generator of the fashion blog Styleabaad ( www.styleabaad.com ), who purchased the $ 1,100 Kate Spade bicycle. “ I look for something unique and particular and something that not everyone else has, ” Termenon said. “ It goes with my personal dash. The means I dress is very colorful, and I wear a lot of vintage dresses. ” other trendy retailers are pitching bicycles as fashion statements. urban Outfitters has paired with Republic Bicycles to offer an on-line bicycle shop. Shoppers can select a ensnare dash — a traditional men ‘s or a dutch loop step-through women ‘s bicycle — and customize in thousands of ways by picking from multiple color options for the inning and individual components such as pedals, saddles and wheels. The bicycle start at $ 399. These retailers are n’t going for the fitness-oriented weekend motorbike crowd that ‘s dominated by decidedly unfashionable “ MAMILS, ” differently known as middle-aged men in Lycra shorts. “ We allow our customers to customize their motorcycle with coloring material and offer different models so they can make their motorcycle a reflection of their personal style, ” said Crystal Carroll, an Urban Outfitters spokeswoman. “ Anyone with an interest in fashion is aware that everything they buy is a reflection of their vogue. ” The Kate Spade bicycles match with the other inventory at Adeline Adeline, where owner Julie Hirschfeld focuses on durable steel-framed city bikes. You wo n’t find a super-light carbon-fiber racer in her shop. Hirschfeld said customers consider bicycles a form of transportation and playfulness. Some might use them to commute ; others take their bikes for a easy ride through Manhattan ‘s Central Park and a cinch, or out to coffee. “ A bicycle is separate of your life style if you are riding it a lot and you want it to be part of your kit, ” Hirschfeld said. “ People want a nice-looking bicycle. ” The companies are n’t actually making bikes but preferably putting their architect imprint on products made by establish manufacturers. The Ralph Lauren bicycle is basically a rebadged offering from Pashley Cycles, England ‘s oldest continuously operating builder. The Kate Spade is built by Abici, an italian company.
Hirschfeld said she likes seeing the manner houses get involved with bicycles. “ Seeing bikes in a life style context is a good thing, ” she said. “ I would like to get bikes away from sports into a place where people incorporate their bikes into their lives. ” MCT Information Services