Over the past couple of years the various brands of LVMH have integrated bikes into their marketing. This last spring, for example, LVMH sponsored the “Bikes In Style” challenge, in which student designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology created stylish, practical and affordable bike gear. There was also DKNY’s unforgettable but perhaps regrettable orange bikes campaign during New York’s Fashion Week in 2008.
It turns out these bike projects aren’t just from the overeager mind of a bikey marketing exec. The bike love at LVMH goes straight to the top: LVMH North American Chairman Renaud Dutreil is a daily bike commuter! He rides to work in Manhattan on an old black Dutch Gazelle bicycle.
Dutreil is featured in this New York Times piece on the merger of bicycling and fashion.
It is no coincidence that fashion is having a bike moment at the same time that New York City, the capital of American fashion, has gone bicycle crazy. The number of daily cyclists in the city has jumped to an estimated 185,000, from 107,000 in 2005, according to Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle-advocacy organization. Indeed, some New York designers are bike commuters themselves, like Steven Alan, who commutes to work on a foldable Strida, which looks like a bicycle as reimagined by Duchamp.