WILD ONES The Hells Angels in 1973.
The Hells Angels look has been reinterpreted for the Paris runway by Junya Watanabe.
ROCK ’N’ ROLL, the art world, Hollywood and fashion have swiped inspiration from biker style so often that it’s a wonder there is anything left to purloin. This has been the case in every two-wheeled decade, and rarely more so than now, when the hip artist du jour Richard Prince seems to have motorcycle culture firmly in the pincers of his ironic quotations, and style avatars like Kate Moss have taken to kitting themselves up like Hells Angels mamas.
Despite the wholesale plundering of biker culture by the design world, there is plenty of gold left to mine from this $9.7-billion industry. The average age of motorcyclists continues to increase, to 41 today, from 32 in 1990, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. Yet, paradoxically, biker style looks fresher than ever. This, at least, was the impression one took away from the 27th Annual Cycle World International Motorcycle Show, which blew into Manhattan at the Javits Center last week.