Cycling and fashion have hit an uptick in America thanks to many fashion designers getting on board with stylish bike commuter pieces and selling them online, including: bags, helmets and jeans — and this is in addition to some pretty sweet rides.
What influenced the recent interest in stateside Cycle Chic commuters? Perhaps it is how many fashion trends form — European inspiration. Men, women and children in many European countries are raised with bicycling. They bike everywhere, and they don’t wear special clothes to do it. They wear their fancy clothes, their going out clothes, their work clothes and their play clothes while bicycling. They save the bike shorts for the professionals.
Petria Lenehan is a Dublin fashion designer schooled in New York, Florence and London. She owns Dublin fashion boutique Dolls — a store for fashion lovers — and at the entrance stands a matte green Dutch bicycle. Petria primarily has that bike because it brings structure to her days. With a dual role as fashion designer and boutique owner, Petria’s life is hectic. Five years on from opening Dolls, she still finds herself sketching dresses in business hours – meaning she will have to do bookkeeping later that night. But now, with help of her bike, a change has come about.
Petria recently rented a studio, forcing herself to be business woman in her boutique and fashion designer in her studio. It does require Petria to frequently travel between studio and shop, though. She heavily relies on her bike, which has become the beacon of structure. Every day at her boutique, she loads shirts and skirts in her bicycle basket and cycles to her new studio. But Petria also has the bike for its style.
When the Irish Times recently wrote an article about Dolls, it said, ‘you don’t have to arrive (…) by Dutch bike, but if you do you will be among your tribe. This is Dublin 8, darling.’ And so Petria decided to display her handmade Dutch bike alongside dresses, hats, scarves, frocks, jumpers, socks and clogs.
So there you have it. The fashionable want a sensible way to get around town, and the bike is the answer. Plus, they get to show off their smart ensembles and chic bicycles while they cruise.
*Photo by Rich Gilligan.
League Director of Communications
Cahill joined the League in December 2008 and has a BA in Media Communications with a concentration in Italian Studies from the College of Charleston.