Of all the features of the classic motorcycle lifestyle portrayed in so many separate styles for so many years now, fashion has perhaps had the most outwards influence.
Definitive, sublime and instantly recognizable- the way that bikers dress, adorned in layers of riding vests and biker jackets with tattooed arms protruding through the denim and leather alike, has become as familiar to most as the uniform a police officer or soldier.
While seeping through by the bucket load into ‘mainstream’ culture during the decades since the initial rise to fame of the all-American outlaw biker, with mocked up jackets for motorcycles showcased on the catwalks of the world’s fashion capitals unrelentingly, there has been a fair amount of influence on motorcycling’s many peers within the ranks of the planets subcultures too.
Within the field of sociology, the term ‘sub-culture’ refers to a sect within a prominent area or culture which acts to separate or differentiate itself from the larger sect of which it is derivative.
With this, rather wordy and largely subjective definition- let’s take a look at some of the more conspicuous sub-cultures to have taken influence from motorcycling.
A hugely influential area within modern music, punk was formed off the back of the decline of the perhaps more sentient hippy culture of the 1960’s, as well as the proto-punk and glam exploits of the likes of David Bowie and New York Dolls in the early 1970’s.
A genre of music for most, yet an entire way of life for millions of people around the world- punk has appointed itself as one of the leading subcultures of the past 40 years. Combining unique and often provocative music with a range of anti-establishment ideals, it’s of little wonder that early punks borrowed heavily from motorcyclist fashion- donning leather biker jackets and denim riding vests covered in patches in equal abundance.
Another massively important area within contemporary music, heavy metal arose a short time before punk in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s.
Similar to the earlier days of motorcycling in the sense that it is (or rather was) a subculture which held both masculinity and extreme heterosexuality in very high regard, it’s largely unsurprising that the two areas began to exchange and share certain ideals.
While many motorcyclists to this day are devout fans of heavy metal music, many of those active within the genre as both performers and fans style themselves upon the fundamentals of motorcycle related fashion- wearing biker jackets and biker vests as religiously as any biker may.
Primarily related to sexual preference and in turn sexual activity, leather subculture encapsulates several areas which have adopted biker fashion.
Most prominently showing partiality towards leather fetishism, the subculture seeks to allow those who are interested in leather on a sexual level to express themselves fully.
A popular theme within many of the world’s gay communities, the subculture is also home to an abundance of straight people, as well as bisexuals and practisers of BDSM activities.
In this article, Kiara Wilson describes how different biker fashions and traditions have become so much of a culture. To be more like a rider, one must not forget to wear leather motorcycle gear as well. Motorcycle House offers all that you need to put on to have the feel of a true biker.