The introduction of the motorized scooter by the Italian company Vespa in the 1960s gave rise to a scooter subculture that spread throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Scooters could be seen taking to the streets and were especially prevalent in the arts and fashion communities within Paris and London, and as far away as San Francisco.
Scooter culture was best exemplified in Quadrophenia by the Who, released in 1979. Rock opera tells the story of the mod revolution in the UK, the gang wars that broke out in the 1960s between the Rockers and the Mods, and the rise of scooter culture with all the lifestyle and fashion statements that go with it.
The scooter jacket as a direct result of scooter culture is best defined by its Euro-style collar, a strip of material that surrounds the neck and closes with a snap. Jackets can be made from traditional leather or from synthetic or natural fabrics as fashion dictates.
In 1985, Vespa left the American market in favor of Europe and, as gasoline prices continued their painful rise, European communities and the UK embraced the scooter as a cheaper form of transportation, while Americans indulged. his love for SUVs.
Re-entering the US market in 2000, Vespa hoped to cater to a new generation of hungry college students and twenty-somethings looking for a cheap mode of transportation. What they found was a much better market to do in nostalgic Baby Boomers, reliving their youthful days of shiny, shiny scooters and motorcycles in general.
With the latest gas price hike of 2008 and growing concern for the environment, middle-class Americans are selling their SUVs and looking for alternative modes of transportation, and once again the scooter is thriving. Scooters are being seen more and more in urban settings as people from all walks of life find a cheaper and more fun way to travel. Following the movement of the scooter is the resurgence of the scooter leather jacket as riders realize the need for body protection against the weather and the road.
Today’s modern scooter jackets offer an alternative to the traditional cycling style. Scooter jackets come in a variety of materials, but just like any type of cycling, care must be taken with protection from the elements and the road. For that reason, the scooter jacket that is made of quality leather material is considered an integral part of scooter safety equipment, and it is recommended to wear it with a full-face protective helmet.
As scooter culture merges with the mainstream, not everyone who considers a scooter for transportation has the typical Mod, Rocker, or Biker personality. By one estimate, up to 40% of new scooter purchases are made by women. Today’s scooter riders span generations and live with a multitude of lifestyles. Scooter clubs, rallies, websites and forums are popping up everywhere, even scooter races have started.
As an alternative to traditional cycling style, the scooter jacket exudes a conservative and respectable style that has become the signature of scooter culture and is popular with people from all walks of life.