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Photography by Koji Yano
Speed racers have never neglected style for the sake of performance -- they straddle their machines in multi-pocketed Belstaff jackets, polished helmets, lace-up boots, and sumptuous gloves. Perhaps it's their sense of confidence and fearlessness that inspired a string of designers to head to the garage, of all places, for inspiration this spring. Rising Belgian talent Tim Coppens dedicated his entire collection to the spirit of 1970s Monte Carlo, while Ernest Alexander explored 1920s board track racing equipment to fuel his budding ready-to-wear line. And the trend is catching on. From Paris to New York, specialist shops like Jane Motorcycles in Brooklyn are polishing their storefronts for a more fashion-savvy clientele, even serving cups of cappuccino to bikers who've pulled over to pamper their beloved rides.