Every time I see an adult on a bicycle I no longer despair for the future of the human race. -H.G. Wells
You only need to take a cursory glance at most street style blogs to know that bikes are as ubiquitous as the knock-kneed stance and centre-parted fringe. The perfect accessory, bikes have the added advantage of actually being useful – YSL Arty rings might look the part, but you can’t type wearing them and Wang bags might be dreamy but they are also heavier than a wet dog, and that’s without having anything in.
Still, being popular is no bad thing – the abundance of bicycles on blogs is hopefully encouraging more people to get on their bikes and ride which can only be for the best. Personally, I failed my cycling proficiency test and can now only be tempted onto two wheels when I’m in the middle of nowhere – but that only serves to make me admire these ardent, stylish, savvy cyclists even more.
While the likes of The Sartorialist and Hel-Looks sneak in the odd cyclist, Danish photographer Mikael Colville-Andersen has gone above and beyond the call of bicycling duty, launching a street style blog dedicated to the cause. Cycle Chic is now something of a blogging empire with ‘copycats and collaborators’ in cities across the world, but it all started life in Mikael’s hometown of Copenhagen – apparently, the cycling capital of the world.
Tomorrow, Thames & Hudson is launching Cycle Chic – a comprehensive collection of some of Mikael’s best pictures organised by themes including Colour, Pattern & Attitude, Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down and the delightfully charming Vélo à Deux which features double the style in every picture. And before you barf, don’t for a minute think that each couple is made up of people… there are plenty of dogs on bikes for us animal-obsessives to behold.
Mikael isn’t convinced by the street style tag and to be honest, I prefer his description – even if it isn’t accurate for everyone in the book: “bicycle advocacy in high heels”.
He goes on to say:
This book is a selection of photographs of beautiful people who are adding to the social fabric of our cities by choosing to ride a bicycle. Cycle Chic is just a way of describing how citizen cyclists have used the bicycle since it was invented in the 1880s. Fashions and fabrics have evolved, as they always do, but the simple imagery of people using bicycles in our cities is timeless. It is my sincere hope that these photographs, taken in the now, not only reflect the past but also allow us a glimpse into our future – a future in which bicycles are accepted and respected, and are a truly feasible form of transportation.
Inspired by these awesomely style-conscious cyclists? Here’s the Cycle Chic Manifesto;
- I choose to cycle chic and, at every opportunity, I will choose Style over Speed;
- I embrace my responsibility to contribute visually to a more aesthetically pleasing urban landscape;
- I am aware that my mere presence in said urban landscape will inspire others without me being labelled as a ‘bicycle activist’;
- I will ride with grace, elegance and dignity;
- I will choose a bicycle that reflects my personality and style;
- I will, however, regard my bicycle as transport and as a mere supplement to my own personal style. Allowing my bike to upstage me is unacceptable;
- I will endeavour to ensure that the total value of my clothes always exceeds that of my bicycle;
- I will accessorize in accordance with the standards of a bicycle culture and acquire, where possible, a chain guard, kickstand, skirt guard, fenders, bell and basket;
- I will respect the traffic laws;
- I will refrain from wearing and owning any form of ‘cycle wear’.