27 June 2007

Cycle Chic Origins

Photo of Mikael Colville-Andersen by Thomas Rabsch

Welcome to Cycle Chic ®. This is where it all started.

Cycle Chic ® began its bloglife back in June 2007 when urban mobility expert and CEO for Copenhagenize Design Company, Mikael Colville-Andersen decided to put a growing number of his photos about Copenhagen's bicycle culture into one place on the internet.
Cycle Chic World Premiere in KBH Magazine
Here is the first usage of the phrase Cycle Chic ® - albeit in a Danish version. This is from KBH Magasin in Copenhagen in 2007.

This series of social documentary photos about Copenhagen started to include a number of shots of life in the City of Cyclists, including fashionable Copenhageners on their bicycles. The feedback about these photos was positive and there was clearly a growing interest abroad in seeing how the bicycle was an integral part of life in the Danish capital. Specifically about how Copenhageners have demystified the bicycle and use it without any form of bicycle 'gear'. Just as the bicycle was meant to be ridden when invented.

What happened after Cycle Chic ® was launched took everyone by surprise. There wasn't any content on the internet relating to "girls on bikes" or combining style and fashion with the humble bicycle. Colville-Andersen coined the phrase "Cycle Chic ®" to describe the art of riding bicycles in regular, preferably fashionable, clothes and things started to accelerate. It's just a modern phrase to describe what has been normal for 125 years, but the impact of it has been enormous.

Green Light Go - The Birth of Cycle Chic The Photo That Launched a Million Bicycles
The very first photo, taken on 14 November 2006, has been referred to as The Photo That Launched A Million Bicycles.

IBM's Smart Growth department has tracked the growth of Cycle Chic ® since 2007: IBM's Short History of Cycle Chic®.

In short, this Cycle Chic ® blog launched a global movement, a fashion trend and the imminent return of the bicycle as transport to the urban landscape.

The blog took on a streetstyle form as it grew in popularity and the readership includes people interested in fashion as well as bicycles, bicycle culture and urban living.

Top Ten Fashion Blogs - The Guardian
Top 100 Blogs Worldwide - The Times
The Satorialist on Two Wheels - The Guardian
Top 10 Hottest Fashion Websites - Marketing Magazine

With his travels as CEO for Copenhagenize Design Company, Colville-Andersen has also amassed a great many photos from countries around the world.

The number of blogs and websites inspired by Cycle Chic has grown explosively. At last count there were more than 250 "cycle chic" blogs around the world. Many are inactive now, but the best and brightest are now gathered into The Cycle Chic Republic. The Republic has an annual conference in various locations around the world and the respective blog owners meet up to discuss the further development of Cycle Chic, the socio-anthropological impact that Cycle Chic has and has had on our cities as well as the continued development of our webshop - The Cycle Chic Republic.

The bicycle has served to liberate the working classes and, in particular, women back in the tail-end of the 19th century. In the post-war years, the bicycle was relegated to being merely a toy or piece of sports equipment. Cycle Chic aims to take back the bike culture by showing how the bicycle once again can be an integral, respectable and feasible transport form, free of sports clothes and gear, and how it can play a vital role in increasing the life quality in cities.

On Copenhagenize.com Colville-Andersen highlights how Copenhagen's bicycle culture was established and inspires other cities in their pursuit of bicycle-friendly infrastructure and culture.

In his daily work, Mikael Colville-Andersen is an urban mobility expert and CEO for Copenhagenize Consulting. He is often referred to as Denmark’s Bicycle Ambassador, and is one of the leading voices in urban planning and reestablishing the bicycle as transport on the urban landscape. Colville-Andersen is an influential and much sought after keynote speaker and he gives talks around the world about bicycle culture, design and social media.

Colville-Andersen and his Copenhagenize Design Co. team advise cities and towns around the world regarding bicycle planning, infrastructure and communication strategies. They apply their marketing expertise to campaigns that sell bicycle culture and bicycle transport to a mainstream audience, not least with this famous Cycle Chic brand.

Copenhagenize’s work ranges from implementing safe routes to schools and putting bicycles on Sao Paulo’s school curriculum, to making best-practice Master Plans in urban transportation for cities.

Colville-Andersen is forever inspired by the people he meets, and the need for making their cities more human. This resounds in his passion for the work he does, as he vows to continue working until every city is a bicycle-friendly liveable place for its citizens.

Moi, cycliste

Related links:
- Colville-Andersen also founded The Slow Bicycle Movement. 2008. Read an article from the Wall St. Journal.
- The Cycle Chic Republic Webshop
- Follow Cycle Chic on Facebook.
- Oh, and Twitter.
- Copenhagenize Design Company
- Copenhagenize.com blog

"Cycle Chic" is a trademark owned by the Danish company Copenhagenize Design Company.

Contact Mikael Colville-Andersen.


Anonymous said...

so where's the bloody photo that started it all!??!

amoeba said...

Now look what you've done!