In recent years, a significant cultural and eco-fueled shift has emerged that is reimagining the way we view, interact, and move within the world around us. As we approach incoming seasons through a more urgent emphasis on sustainability, a focus on intentional design has presented activewear brands an opportunity to rethink classic silhouettes while prioritizing multi-functionality and circular innovation. One-dimensional and eco-obtuse activewear designs have begun to lose strength, with consumers leaning towards garments and accessories that provide hyper-versatile constructions and integrated details that seem to anticipate the unexpected. A rise in anxious times propels an emotional connection with pieces that offer a sense of on-the-go adaptability—allowing for more conscious purchases that exceed a reason or season. With climate concerns creating an uptick in #bikecore culture, the spotlight is placed on designs that celebrate the modern cyclist while supporting an active-flexibility from street to studio—and everywhere in between.
Cycling has always been popular, but in the past decade we have noted a massive influx in the amount of individuals choosing bikes as their preferred mode of transportation. A large number of reasons account for this pedal-powered surge, such as a rise of environmental concerns and more health-conscious lifestyles—with consumers considering new ways of commuting that are beneficial for both the planet as well as the rider. With a growing presence during fashion weeks and recent collaborations between cycling brands such as Super 73 X Daily Paper, Shrimps X Rapha, and Cowboy X ba&sh—it is clear that the fashion industry has noted an uptick in cycling culture while redefining two-wheeled transportation as a means of stylish self-expression. This increased popularity in #bikecore style has also propelled a demand for activewear that seamlessly blends form and function. Cyclists look towards clothing that allows for full freedom of movement as well as protection from surrounding environments and unexpected changes along the route. Designers across the activewear market and beyond are responding to these unique demands by creating innovative hybrid designs that are highly versatile yet ultra stylish.
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An emergence of performance-minded collections that blend fashion and function give way to a universal need for designs that offer a bigger purpose. The freedom to move has become an inspiration catalyst for womenswear-rooted, yet activewear-fueled designer Johanna Parv’s collections, as her namesake brand experiments with elegant silhouettes that are made for mobility. By placing the urban woman cyclist at the forefront of the design process, Parv’s designs elevate everyday garments through transformable constructions and mindful adaptability. Thoughtful details such as integrated ponytail holes, ergonomic cuts, and multi-use straps reimagine all-day clothing with an active twist—allowing consumers the ability to move with support and ease.
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Another example of #bikecore inspiration comes from a collaboration between bike-sharing company Lime and sustainable designer Lydia Bolton, who showcased commuter-focused garments created entirely from upcycled materials. The collection, aptly named “Re-Cycle”, was motivated by a recent survey which revealed that nine out of ten people avoid riding bikes due to concerns over their attire, and over half expressed desire for more high-fashion, bike-friendly clothing. Crafted out of repurposed materials such as waterproof coats, quilted puffers, discarded tents, and vintage jerseys—the garments were created with a full-circle approach. These unisex and seasonless designs feature shapeshifting styles that move from short to long, including detachable customizations and clothing clips that secure a snag-free fit while riding. Designers such as Parv and Bolton are following the success from a gorpcore boom—ushering in a new era of performance design that elevates everyday pieces with a heightened sense of purpose.
Active footwear has also seen a cyclist-inspired response, as a focus on hybrid designs has prompted an influx of innovative silhouettes that consider diverse terrains and activities. Earlier this year, Salomon and Pas Normal Studios released an updated version of a classic design—offering a preview to what is possible when it comes to creating for the next-generation of hybrid lifestyles. The durable design features a lightweight sneaker and inner quick speed lacing system, with a water-repellant gaiter that provides thoughtful insulation as well as protection against the elements for a mountain-to-street-to-cafe approach. Even the TikTok-favorite Samba has taken on a bike-ready overhaul, with a recent drop from Adidas of their Velosamba Cold.Rdy sneakers. The shoes are specially designed for cold-weather commuting, while highlighting a move towards sustainability through vegan-friendly styles and construction techniques that utilize 50 percent recycled materials. With cyclist-minded details such as integrated cleat mounts on the sole and highly reflective accents for a safer ride, the hybrid sneakers find a place amongst social feeds and bike pedals with ease.
As the consumer desire continues to underline a need for products that can adapt in any situation, designers look to respond through silhouettes that offer more thoughtful intention. This fast-rising connection between cyclist-ready constructions and innovative circularity methods has set in motion a new wave of design that celebrates a universal freedom to move throughout any unexpected climate or environment.