With Levis’ 511 commuter Jean – and their fabulous nation wide promotional tour w/ Urban Outfitters – it’s become clear that big brands are convinced there’s a significant demand for fashion that’s practical for everyday bike riding. Though there is a long list of small labels who have been producing amazing & innovative apparel, shoes & accessories – it’s an interesting moment when big labels get involved. For most people the Marc Jacobs cycling hat, Paul Smith riding jacket or Philip Lim’s fall womens wear collection isn’t the ‘bigger brand’ that means accessibility.


So when Levis & Urban Outfitters puts it out – it’s just the start of something… bigger.


Two weeks ago, while attending the Specialized Bikes 2012 product line preview the studio next door was showing the Onitsuka Tiger men’s shoe line for Spring 2012. Both Mike Green of Bike Blog NYC and my own Mike became giddy school girls just hearing about it. Clearly even boys get silly over cute shoes. And what’s more awesome than super cute shoes that don’t kill your feet .. or even better that you can ride a bike in?


Here’s the Onitsuka Tiger Cycling Shoe for Spring 2012 – it’s got little vintage Vittoria style vent holes in the front of the shoe. The mustard yellow ones look pretty sweet.



It’s extremely important – in terms of style and building both local economies and authenticity – to remember and promote the indie companies trailblazing in the space.

Bicycle specific riding pants:

Outlier was the Original Men’s riding pant using Schoeller AG performance material. Nona Varnado  produces the only women’s cycling fashion line w/ Schoeller AG based Riding Pant and swrve has been making amazing domestically produced fashionable riding pants for a few years. CHROME and Swobo also have nice lifestyle lines.


Fashionable Cycling Shoes:

DZR, Quoc Pham, CHROME, Cadence and Vittoria all make awesome cycling specific shoes that also look hot walking down the street.


& more to come!

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12 Responses to Bike Fashion Goes Mainstream

  1. Harriet says:

    Love that idea, many thanks for sharing your unique angle on fashion, much appreciated. Harriet

  2. Margaret says:

    Great photos, they really serve to illustrate your points well. It just goes to show that fashion is in the eye of the beholder. Whilst I liked certain aspects on the design, some I would not wear.

  3. Outlier now has a women’s riding pant as well, using the Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabric (http://shop.outlier.cc/shop/retail/women-s-daily-riding-pant.html). I haven’t tried them yet but would love to, along with the Nona Varnado riding pant (love the buttons at the ankle!)

    I’ve been ranting about pants all this week on my blog, starting with a list of the details I wish fashion designers would consider: http://bikestylespokane.com/2011/10/03/the-quest-for-the-perfect-pants/

    Swrve makes cute knickers, but no pants for women. Same with Chrome. Same with Swobo.

    Why is that? I live in an area with true four-season weather and my calves get just as cold and wet as the rest of me; knickers won’t cut it. I also need to dress in business attire and knickers, while okay for summer if dressy enough, aren’t serious fall/winter work apparel.

    I wish this market niche got a little more design love!


  4. […] The Bird Wheel: Bike Fashion Goes Mainstream—a comment on the release by Levi’s of jeans designed for biking (available for men only!) and the rise of biking fashion, by New York designer Nona Varnado […]

  5. […] biking doesn't have to be just about spandex. You can look stylish too! Cycle Chic Velo Vogue Bike Fashion goes mainstream Fashion designers put their marques on bicycles Bicycle culture will continue to grow as a means […]

  6. jansen says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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  8. Nicol Walks says:

    Amazing insight I have never look at it that way.

  9. nice post. Very fashionable.

  10. […] “Bilge water down me pants!” when Levis & Urban Outfitters puts it out – it’s just th’ start o’ something… […]

  11. I prefer when you discuss this kind of stuff within your posts. Perhaps might you continue this?

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