That megalithic cavern of fast fashion for bright young things, Topshop, is a real friend of the bicycle it seems.
Last year they famously hosted a concession stand for young designer Amy Fleuriot, founder and designer of Cyclodelic; a London clothing and accessories label that creates striking designs for women who don't want to forfeit fashion over function when arriving by bike. (Hint: there's no lycra here!)
Now, timed to co-incide with London Fashion Week, Topshop have launched their latest in-store spring display with a host of beautiful bicycles accompanying their models.
When passing through on Satuday I asked a staff member about the bikes - what, I wondered, was the purpose of it all?
"We just wanted some pretty bikes to go with the pretty clothes, that might make our young customers consider the bicycle without, you know, having to think they have to wear the weird stuff." she said.
There's a great inequality in cycling between the sexes here in the UK; men dominate, making up 76% of trips. Sadly it would seem that a lot of girls give up pedal power when they reach their teenage years, and never get back on. The Darlington Media Campaign took a group of 'non-cycling English girls' and packed them off to Bremen to try and rehabilitate the bicycle into their lives. The results make for an astonishing film, the short version of which is below. If you haven't seen it already I HIGHLY reccomend you do.
I like to think that with projects like this, and with the likes of the mighty Topshop promoting cycling positively to girls, things might just improve...