Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Challenging the "norm".....

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company announced today on their Facebook
page that they, along with Rolling Stone Magazine, are going to NYC for Fashion Week. One normally wouldn't put the Fashion Industry together with Motorcycling. After all what does a bunch of clothes have to do with how a Harley runs?? The answer is: A lot! Coco Chanel said it the best: Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

Back to the Beginning:
The industrial age came along and suddenly everyone is going faster and farther than ever before. Best to have some protective gear/clothing for the safety of the rider - leather jackets, tall boots, goggles and the like. Not very glamorous but practical. 

The King shall ride:
Go forward a couple of decades and the second world war, soldiers are back customizing surplus motorcycles they got from the military. Throw in a couple of celebrities on bikes and now what these bikers are wearing is beginning to be seen on clothing racks. "Press Week" - the precursor to Fashion Week - begins in New York City and continues till the early 90's. Held in separate lofts and studios all over town, it proved difficult to get around and see all the designers.

Here and now:
For safety reasons (a ceiling collapse), the fashion industry looked to put everything in one spot and #NYFW was born. Today clothing inspired by the Motorcycle Industry can be seen in numerous designer collections. Don't believe me? Check out Helen Mirren dressed in biker chic; or this jacket from Ralph Lauren. 

This gives rise to the argument that HDMC - an industry icon in it's own right - be part of this spring ritual. Sure our leather jackets and boots protect the rider AND they look good too. Our Motorclothes (a term coined by Harley) have been built by riders, for riders - clothing to help keep the rider warm in the cold or cool in the heat. All of that makes for a more enjoyable and safer ride. Plus there's lots more clothing with a "Bar & Shield" tag - denim, hoodies, button up "garage" shirts, hats, scarves, wallets/purses, jewelry and more. 

Customers coming into FX Caprara Harley-Davidson for the first time - maybe to check it out for themselves or to grab a gift for a friend - are sometimes amazed at the amount of clothing we do have. They thought we just sold motorcycles! I'll begin talking with them only to find out they've always loved Harley motorcycles and want to learn how to ride someday. My reply: "It all starts with the clothes!!"