Sunday, February 03, 2008

DKNY says ride a bike...just not our orange ones.

See the happy fashionable couple wearing their hot DKNY clothes? They look sharp in their spring 08 collecting being followed by the NYPD scooter brigade. This is part of DKNY's new advertising to boast about their commitment to alternative transportation and the money they've given to the city to promote a better environment for biking. Of course the NYPD harassment campaign to group rides is my own little addition to the photo, but represents how I feel about the "cities commitment" to making it a pain in the ass to ride your bike here. DKNY has locked up 75 orange painted bikes around NYC with their logo being the only identifying thing on the bikes themselves.

Read about it here at this Conde Naste publication blog. Its for fashion week and at least some of these bikes are locked to trees in Tompkins square park, which is illegal. How does this promote cycling? Seems to me another form of the corporate advertising think tank, stealing our street art and using for their own. To pat themselves on the back and try and catch some of the Green Chic "save the environment," fever. Hmmm, what other painted bicycles put up around the city?
Picture by Fred Askew

The ghost bikes represent how the city has ignored the plight of the cyclist by not doing enough to prevent this from happening, for instance not putting in bike lanes on Houston Street or following through with investigations on how these people died. And tell me again why I got a ticket for "not riding in the bike lane?" on a Friday before Critical Mass, when our beloved bike lane is filled with obstructions on a daily basis? Lets not forget a number of the people immortalized by bike lanes were killed by using bike lanes and bike paths.

If you dig around on the DKNY website you will eventually find a page that talks about how they have donated money to the city for free bike maps and helmets. Their main goal is to promote cycling. I just don't see how locking bikes around town is going to get the message across. Most people are kind of pissed off with this kind of invasion of our mental space and all the abandon bikes left around giving active bicycle commuters and workers a bad name. But its ok when DKNY does it. Are their people arriving on bicycle? Are the super models commuting to the tent at Bryant park on bicycle? Does that portable tent use alternative fuel or green energy. NO NO and No. But some how if you walk around looking at a bike you can't even ride, this will encourage you to ride a bike. Brilliant job people. Seems like something more out of Zoolander. DKNY should be more concerned with where their overpriced clothes are made and the environmental impact of sweatshops. The last time I checked they were getting boycotted for having sweatshops with unsavory work conditions in some far off remote land called... New York City.



Blogger e said...

Orange bike liberation was in full swing by saturday evening & DKNY wants you to ride a bike. So hop on and ride these brand new cruisers. I did and they are fun to ride!

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So whats the problem. They pay tribute to the ghostbikes and they give money for free helmets? Lame criticism. Don't be a hater.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Texas Johnny said...

They should come up with the yellow bikes program like this one in Austin.

They give out free bikes over there.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should cut the locks and hand them out for free.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

This is like thats Tats crew bullshit painting hummer ads and calling it "Street Art."

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:54 PM  
Anonymous Melody said...

Another example of corporations stealing our art.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous private dancer said...

I have heard that the bikes are meant to be taken.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it have been nice if they had left them there for people to ride. I don't think so though.
I doubt DKNY would chain them and sully the working parts and seats with paint if they had any intention of people riding them. It is a facade an advertising gimmick! A cheep trick and a gimmik, a piece of urban visual and space pollution!
What if some one were to go and take them all and pile them up outside a DKNY office or retail outlet? With some appropriate signage as a sign of appreciation from the community. Or what about if the bikes were liberated, cleaned up and given to those who would ride them? All except the orange seats which might be gathered and delivered back to the company in a mail bag in a kind of Godfatheresque way? (maybe this would be stealing?)

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an unfortunate ripoff of ghost bikes

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Ladybird Vanderbilt said...

If you see a DKNY-branded bicycle that you would like to see unlocked, please email the bike's location to We will forward bike locations to the appropriate authorities.


6:11 PM  
Blogger Our Lady Mess said...

thanks for bringing attention to this issue and getting the word out.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please call the Donna Karan corporate office. Mike, could you post this info in your blog:
550 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10018
Tel:(212) 789-1500

I just called them and left a voicemail with a PR flack. I hope they get at least a dozen calls today.


11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the location of these bikes?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please note that 550 Seventh Ave is very close to the 2 most recent cyclist's deaths, both ghostbikes were installed in mid-december

DKNY corp hacks probably passed them everyday or could see them from their corporate windows.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think using the ghost bikes as a way to sell their product is sick. I'm going to either write or call them right now to voice my opinion.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous miss tint said...

see a bike?
paint it white.

don't let advertising become viral. the only painted bikes should be ghost bikes.

11:27 PM  
Blogger fixedgear said...

This is like DKNY (not just DKNY, but their ad agency) taking your freind's tombstone and featuring it in an ad. It's inexcusable. They had to know. Call or email and express your feelings.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Alana said...

When I found out about this, I was completely appalled. I have read articles and comments for and against these faux ghost bikes and I understand both sides. If DKNY wanted to promote biking around the city, that is a fine thing to do. However, the manner in which they chose to advertise this is baffling. You'd think for a multi-million dollar company their ad-wizards could come up with something more orginal and sympathetic than ripping off something beautiful meant to memorialize a human life.
Also, If DKNY really wanted to noticably promote biking in NYC and are as good natured as they are making themselves out to be, they should have chosen a method that didn't tie itself to such a senstive subject. And anyways, it seems counterproductive to try to promote cycling by using the same medium as used to publicize death while cycling.

(PS this isn't the first time we've seen bike culture to advertise fashion. Triple Five Soul and freak bikes, anyone?)

2:19 AM  
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1:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:21 PM  
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9:58 AM  
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10:39 AM  
Anonymous Francesca said...

I understand your concerns but I still think that it was a cool initiative for them. Did it help the biking community? I don't think so. Did it hurt the biking community? I don't think so!

12:36 PM  

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