The New Fashion Trend - Bike Shorts

When it comes to the latest in high fashion streetwear, no trend has been more pervasive on the catwalk or on the high street than bike shorts. 

 

While many point to the embellished undershorts in Chanel’s 2014 Autumn/Winter show as the origin of the trend, the recent revival of the skin-tight shorts in 2017 is thanks to designer Virgil Abloh. 

 

Abloh, a well-known figure in the street style world, based the Spring/Summer 2018 show of his fashion house “Off-White” on the legendary comfortable-chic style of the late Princess Diana Spencer.  

 

Catwalk legend Naomi Campbell closed the show wearing ivory bike shorts and a matching tailored blazer, and the rest was history. 

 

Other fashion lines were quick to pick up on the trend: Saint Laurent added lace and peplum, GCDS paired their sleek shorts with a crop top equipped with three fake breasts, and Miuccia took the cinched waist of Abloh’s original and streamlined the design.  

 

“From a commercial standpoint, we’ve really seen the bike short popularize this past year with the immense saturation of streetwear” Marian Park, youth fashion editor at trend forecasting company WGSN told Andrew Shang and Emily Mercer of WWD.com. 

 

“If winter’s cozy was the hoodie and the track pant, summer’s iteration is that oversize T-shirt with the body-con bike short underneath” she added. 

 

Mere mortals first got wind of the trend when face of the Karjenner clan Kim Kardashian modelled beige bike shorts for husband Kanye’s fashion band ‘Yeezy’. Soon the high street exploded with copies, and fashion’s latest darlings were pairing their shorts with blazers, cropped hoodies and summer t-shirts. 

 

Not everyone has been won over by this Tour-de Force trend. Writing for i-D magazine in 2017, Felix Petty described the bike shorts phenomenon as “ironic ugliness remade into sarcastic-but-practical luxury” 

 

“Despite sprouting from the same fashion impetus as dad shoes, city merch, gorpcore and bumbags, they have more in common with the humble comforting boredom of athleisure than they do the weirdness of avant-garde irony” he wrote. 

 

The burgeoning passion for athleisure looks like it’s here to stay (at least for a few more seasons) but only time will tell if the humble bike shorts will remain at its helm.