We’ve all seen the widely-circulated photo of Bella Hadid grabbing pizza last month in her ultra-mini platform Uggs, graphic tee, and white undies (don’t pretend like you haven’t). Her eclectic mix of cult items came together to form the perfect casual ‘fit, rounded out by a polished black race car driver-inspired jacket with light blue accents — it was a true tribute to the recent resurgence of the moto trend in fashion. “There is an aesthetic emerging that’s sportswear meeting luxury, and I almost feel like the moto jacket is that hybrid,” Danielle Guizio, owner and designer of her eponymous label, says of the look. “It's grungy, but it's also vintage and sleek.”
Though moto style has most recently found a home at Paris Fashion Week (see the sleek leather separates at Chloé and Stella McCartney’s candy-colored pit crew jumpsuits), its comeback from the ‘90s and early ‘00s has been brewing by way of secondhand shopping for awhile now. “Starting back last winter, I started noticing [the trend] more and more,” Guizio tells TZR. “For a lot of people, shopping vintage has always been a thing. But now with this surge of shopping on Etsy and Depop, I almost think that's where it's originated from.”
With this public affinity for vintage-hunting comes a consistent revival of old trends that have already made their way through the fashion cycle, only to be reimagined in a contemporary way. “People are forecasting, and as we know about fashion, it repeats itself. We've seen this trend happen a lot with Diesel,” celebrity stylist Harrison Thomas Crite explains. He notes how the beloved ‘00s brand — known for its sandblasted denim and streamlined leather pieces — and its recent comeback has set the tone for the 2022 version of all things motocross-chic. “They have reimagined what the new millennial biker is and they've done a really cool silhouette. I just think people are excited about it.”
And while the trend has rapidly taken over everything from the luxury catwalk to neighborhood thrift shops, there’s reason to believe it won’t burn as bright and fast as your average Tik Tok-created style. “Though the moto jacket seems super trendy right now, I do feel it’s here to say because there's so many different variations,” Guizio reflects. “It's almost acting like a replacement or an addition to a ‘-core’ style.” And while Harrison argues that certain aspects of the current moto-trend like super-cropped jackets and fitted skorts may run their course, classic elements like denim and leather will only continue to be reimagined.
“The biker trend is always going to be timeless because you have that set of people who are always into this aesthetic,” he predicts. “The trend will be repurposed in the way that it's styled over time, but the elements will always be timeless.”
Ahead, shop the essential moto pieces you need to spice up your wardrobe this season.
The quintessential element to any racer-esque look is just the right jacket, of course. “I think people are replacing the oversized leather jacket,” Guizio says. “You have your vintage classic Schott jacket that the Rolling Stones or Bruce Lee would wear, but now people are kind of trading in that style of the oversized vintage leather [silhouette] for a more modern, sportier version.” To really nail the look, opt for a style that incorporates a bit of bright color or buckle detailing.
It’s impossible to understate the versatility of a solid pair of leather pants. Invest in both form-fitting and baggy styles to ensure maximum benefit while adding a grungy flair to a sportier look. “The key is a good fitting pair and an oversized fit of leather pants. This can be achieved through thrifting if you're on a budget, or you can go for designer,” Harrison tells TZR. “Multiple brands have really good leather pieces right now.” A good place to start? Try Diesel, Balenciaga, and Courègges.
The classic micro-mini skirt is having a moment for sure, whether the rest of your look leans preppy schoolgirl or racer babe. To achieve the latter, mix the piece with a cropped or oversized leather jacket and pair with knee-high boots to give the feminine silhouette some edge. “You’ll feel so comfy and it’s such an easy way to look done up,” Guizio advises.
“A really cool pair of boots, whether they’re chunky or more of a high-heeled stiletto, give an effortless look,” Harrison raves. Opt for platform leather boots if you really want to take things in a more punk direction — or try for a sleek pair of heels paired underneath oversized denim for a streamlined streetwear vibe. Enhance the look further with shiny finishes and zipper details.
Don’t downplay the importance of a solid pair of sunnies to finish out the look. “An amazing pair of oversized shades really give that cool factor,” Harrison says, recommending Rick Owens as his personal favorite. The moto trend calls for a variety of renditions on the eyewear staple: Try angular, wrap-around shades for a sportier effect (FYI, “gas station” sunnies are definitely having a moment as well), or go back to the classics with squarish frame shape. And if you really want to have fun with it? Opt for tinted or mirrored lenses.