It's every surfer's dream: bright sun, low winds, big swells, a $2,400 Gucci under your arm. All right, maybe not every surfer's dream, but for riders looking to make fashion waves, Gucci and other haute couturiers can help. Yes, the world of high fashion has discovered the lure of adventure sports. Trendy skateboarders can now ride on a $450 Burberry deck (below, right), chic climbers can outfit themselves in Chanel's $195 helmet and $640 mountaineering boots, and fashionable skiers can strap on $520 Pradas. As Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld says, "Fashion is no longer restricted to suits, dresses and evening wear."
Why has the glamour class gone for the pret-a-sporter look? Adventure sports apparently have become culturally hip enough to attract the attention of the fashion elite. As Paulene Hsia, a lecturer in fashion retailing at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Hong Kong's Polytechnic University, told the South China Mo Post, "To be seen as a brand on the cutting edge, fashion houses have to tap into existing trends and culture. Brands are increasingly into lifestyle marketing."
In short, expect to see more jock gear along the lines of Gucci's $1,020 kick boxing gloves and Chanel's $1,250 snowboard (below, left). Can a BMX by YSL be far behind?