How American Honda and Forever 21 have joined forces to create an apparel line of retro-race-inspired digs.
That's one way to get the kids interested in motorcycles I guess
The popularity of all things vintage doesn’t appear to be slowing. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and retro is hugely popular. This is especially true in the motorcycle and fashion industries. Even with all the success of retro-styled bikes, it still comes as a bit of a surprise to hear that American Honda has partnered with clothing retail powerhouse Forever 21 to launch a “capsule collection” of men’s and women’s apparel inspired by ’80’s and ’90’s Honda and HRC gear.
All items in the new clothing line sport various throwback Honda race logos and colors from two or three decades ago. The press release describes the collection as “attire featuring modern silhouettes but adorned with nostalgic iconography.” The new lineup consists of several men’s and women’s long and short-sleeved shirts and a couple jackets.
"We are so excited to announce our partnership with Honda for this '80’s and '90’s-inspired collection," said Linda Chang, Forever 21's Vice President of Marketing. "We are always looking for new and unexpected partnerships, and this collaboration with Honda is especially relevant now with the popularity of racing and strong ties between fashion and motorsport. We hope that both fans of Honda and our customers will celebrate with us through this collection."
To promote the launch of the new “F21xHonda” lineup, the two brands announced an Instagram contest where participants can send in a photo of them wearing a garment from the collection using the hashtag #F21xHonda. The selected winner gets a brand new Honda CRF250L motorcycle.
The independent fashion retailer and the motorcycle manufacturer were brought together by Earthbound, Honda's brand management agency that has prior experience in bringing large, unrelated outfits together for mutually-beneficial one-off partnership endeavors. The symbiotic nature (and mutual profit) of this arrangement sees both companies walk away happy, with the Los Angles-based clothing chain expecting ample sales and Honda content with taking its piece in exchange for licensing its name, logos, and designs. Designs Honda had already paid for, used, and were now collecting proverbial dust.
"Honda's motorcycle racing success in the '80’s and '90’s was legendary, with our riders earning many championships in domestic and international series," said Mike Snyder, Senior Manager of Honda Powersports Marketing. "While we're focused on winning with our current teams, it's fun to see our racing heritage honored by Forever 21 with a completely new audience.”
Collaborations between the motorcycle and fashion industries are actually pretty common. A few examples being Ducati teaming up with Diesel (or Nieman Marcus or Italia Independent) to release a limited edition model bike, or Triumph partnering with Lucky to deliver lines of moto-themed apparel. The monumental success of clothing companies like Deus Ex Machina and Revival Cycles have seemingly convinced major players in the fashion industry that there’s a lot of money to be made from motorcycle-themed apparel.
The new F21xHonda capsule collection is on sale as of today at all participating North American Forever 21 stores and on the company’s website. I’m personally curious to see how the motorcycle world reacts to this. What say you reader?