Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
While compiling our daily reports on the top street style trends during Fashion Month recently, a particular accessory kept popping up in our photos, especially on the ground at Paris Fashion Week: the electric scooter. We spotted influencers crowding around Bird-branded scooters and models riding their own personal scooters to their next runway gig. (Ever wonder how Natalia Vodianova travels between shows? Here's proof.) In fact, Lime, an electric scooter sharing system, worked with La Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, providing fashion people with a new way to travel around Paris this season.
After the Stella McCartney show, Lime also provided guests with complimentary scooters, bedecked in the British designer's namesake logo, which also made for great content in this Elle video. Considering McCartney's advocacy for all things eco-friendly, the brand synergy between the fashion label and scooter company makes perfect sense.
But it wasn't just Lime that garnered the fashion crowd's attention in Paris: Another electric scooter company, Inokim, played a role in the Vivienne Westwood show, as designer Andreas Kronthaler paired the two-wheeled vehicle with a handful of (very, very muscular) male models down the runway.
If you're not too familiar with electric scooters yet, chances are you'll spot one whizzing past you very soon. According to a study by Populus, micro-mobility — bike and moped sharing services — is on the rise, especially among women, who reportedly have a more positive perception of scooters (72 percent) than men (67 percent). In addition, there's a smaller gender gap between men and women when it comes to riding scooters versus bicycles, which Populus theorizes is because scooters seem safer and clothing choices aren't as limited for riding one. (However, the latter speculation can quickly be proven wrong after spending a day in a cycle-friendly city like Amsterdam or Copenhagen.)
So why was this mode of transportation so prevalent in Paris rather than, say, New York, London or Milan? Chances are it has to do with the French capital's early adoption of electric scooters, which increasingly gained popularity over the summer as Lime launched its first-ever "big-scale deployment" in Europe, according to Reuters. This might explain why showgoers opted to scoot their way from venue to venue rather than by car, metro or on foot. Plus, back in January, top industry trendsetter Demna Gvasalia included an electric scooter in his lookbook for Balenciaga's Pre-Fall 2018 men's collection. If there's anything that Gvasalia is excellent at, it's turning a normcore-adjacent interest into a worldwide fashion phenomenon.
Now, the electric scooter is getting its own stylish spotlight in New York City, thanks to Public School. Designer duo Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow collaborated with Chinese-owned electronics company Xiaomi, applying their streetwise aesthetic towards the new "Mi" electric scooter. The limited-edition design, which features a taxi-inspired checkerboard motif and goes for $795, is available for purchase at the new Public School store in Soho and online.
There you have it, folks: Electric scooters are freakin' chic, y'all, and we anticipate even more designers adding their own spin to the trending form of transit in the months ahead. Perhaps we'll see influencers swapping their complimentary car service for a shared scooter at New York Fashion Week. Or maybe Virgil Abloh will make his very own Off-White "SCOOTER" or, dare we say, a box-logo-adorned Supreme version is already in the works. Don't say we didn't warn you, and don't forget a helmet.