Supermodels Demand an Auto-Free New York

Remember the orange bikes locked up all around Manhattan during Fashion Week that managed to outrage the NYPD and Ghost Bike memorialists in equal measure? It turns out they weren’t just an advertisement for fashion house DKNY, they were part of a comprehensive "fashion plan to eliminate all motor vehicles in NYC by the year 2018." For a sense of just how difficult it’s going to be to implement the plan, note how much air time the video above gives to Mercedes Benz.  

haikalis_1.jpgAs the faux fur-clad model narrating this video says, "If supermodels can’t solve the world’s problems, then I don’t know who can." George Haikalis of Auto-Free New York (right), are you listening? You and Charles Komanoff and the Kheel Plan are cute and all, but if you really want to increase attendance, how about getting some supermodels to detail this 2018 plan at the next monthly meeting?

  • ddartley

    And at least one New Yorker Demands that Bryant Park be left a PARK, and that Fashion Week, lovely and nice as it may be, find another venue.

    Also, that green bike at 0:58 was not from DKNY, and was, kind of annoyingly, taking up space on a bike rack. (Not that I want to really want to keep the DKNY bike discussion going.)

  • Charlie D.

    Strange allies indeed, but heck we’ll take all the support we can get! I love the quote at the end: “If supermodels can’t solve the worlds’ problems, I don’t know who can.”

  • What crap. DKNY has zero credibility as an alternative transportation advocate in my book. Here’s what Mercedes-Benz fashion week really means for bicyclists:

  • Cute, Aaron. I take it “supermodel” is a coded reference to our Kheel Plan spreadsheet model. Well, it *is* super, all right. Not to mention sexier than any 93-pound runway waif. To me, anyway. OK, time for me to get back to crunching numbers. The rest of you, though, should download the Kheel spreadsheet and start, umm, playing with it:

  • Eric

    Hey, it appears from the video that those orange bikes are functional! I hope the NYPD is going to donate those that it clipped to Recycle-a-Bicycle or some other worthwhile cause.

    Or maybe they’ll put plainclothes cops on them and infiltrate the next CM.

  • Leave it to NYPD to field UCs on bright orange bikes at CM. Your federal anti-terror dollars at work!

  • Eric

    Orange alert!

  • And why not help us celebrate Auto-Free New York’s 19th Anniversary on Tuesday, February 26, 2008, 6-8pm, Conference Room, NYPD Downtown Center, 104 Washington Street, just north of Rector Street in Lower Manhattan.

    Find out how NYC can “refashion” some of the highway lanes on the Queensboro Bridge, the Lincoln Tunnel and Brookly-Battery tunnel into rail lines. I’ll be giving the presentation.

    Supermodels, and everyone else who wants to change the world, are welcome.

  • Reminds me of the ECO breakfast I attended Jan 30th, sponsored by…
    General Murders!!! Yep, the makers of the Bummer (that a loathesome auto I cannot even spel)…were supposedly making huge inroads (careful word choice there) in all things green.
    I think “green” has been appropriated.
    I also bet ms. DKNY would be roundly reprimanded BY Mercedes if the supermodels (I didn’t see any Lauren Huttons or Naomi Cmpbells) do something EFFECTIVE.
    Still one must give the thumbs up lest one seem…cycnical.
    (typo>? you decide)

  • Bill

    Orange is the new black!

  • hmph

    oh, lordy! this orange bike thing has been raging on the the blogs for over a week, and this is what you finally post??!! ugh!

    parody or not, i have had it with dkny and those damn orange bikes! why should anyone in any way shill for dkny or for the skinny, vapid, selfish models? puh-leeze!

    now where is my ultra slim fast…. oops, i mean my new electra beach cruiser, so i can lose a few pounds and save the environment at the same time!

  • Christine Berthet

    This is spectacular news. You will have millions of teenagers telling their parents – nno car please.. a car is so boring.. all their favorite top walk

    Nothing is more powerful than fashion magazines.. lets embrace it .

    And the orange bike is really cute ..

  • Bike formally known as DKNY

    How can anyone believe that this video is serious? Its a crass attempt at a co-opt of a very crass co-opt of a grassrous campaign that should not have happened.

    The bikes indeed were brand new completely viable and ride-able, and its too late for you to get your own, but I will be painting the one I obtained another color.

    DKNY must have paid $100 each for these bikes, then immediately trashed them with ugly orange paint. Probably the entire stupid campaign cost them $10,000 and a lot of grief. They could have donated that money/bikes to a worthy cause and come out golden orange!

  • Daniel

    This DKNY campaign is nothing but great news for bike advocacy.

    The fashion industry is all about convincing Americans what’s cool, what’s “in,” and what they should buy. They spend billions of dollars a year on their “advocacy.” They are very good at it, the best even. Unfortunately, they are usually focused on selling us utterly, totally, completely useless crap.

    If, however, the fashion industry wants to put their considerable persuasive powers towards convincing Americans that bicycles are the coolest, hippest, latest, hottest, most environmentally friendly fashion accessory: By all means, go right ahead.

    So, I say, THANK YOU for jumping on the bandwagon, DKNY. I’m happy to have you doing work that appears to have been inspired by Transportation Alternatives, Visual Resistance and StreetFilms. You’re a great addition to the advocacy mix. Keep it up. Pay not attention to the loud, immature and forever self-marginalizing voices within the bike community who seem to wish nothing more than to keep cycling a non-mainstream activity.

  • Barbara

    I would love to wake up in ideal world where everybody is vegan, all Wal-marts have been replaced by mom & pop stores and all advertising has disappeared. However, isn’t the goal of the cycling community is to bring in as many new riders as possible? Are we only going to accept cyclists that are PC enough for us? I’m ready to share our bike lanes with Bush favoring , fashion obsessed, scientology followers… Mixing up all the issues is not productive to the goal of filling the streets of NYC with bikes

  • Daniel,

    I would be all in favor of a meaningful attempt to promote cycling by DK or the fashion industry. This is not it. This is littering up the sidewalk with unusuable bikes. do you seriously think that anyone who looks at one of these things is inspired to bicycle?

    They could have had their models take a tour around town on the orange bicyles. They could have had a model cycle out onto the runway. They could have designed chic sportswear for cycling. I would have applauded all of those things. Instead they dumped these orange bikes in the busiest pedestrian spots to maximize visibility for their guerilla advertising campaign, and made this idiotic video that is so obscure and without substance that it fails to inform much less convince anyone of anything.

  • Stacy

    is this supposed to be satire? I don’t get it.

  • It’s pretty funny. There she is in faux fur, speaking about as eloquently as a president, making a demand for a car-free new york, and … um… she looks more like a cyclist than a supermodel 😀
    Hmmm… fashion types tend to think of totally weird things which have nothing to do with reason and sometimes they get extremely popular. Usually the common folks don’t see that part of the process; we just see the fashion wake in our Wal-Mart trips. On the other hand, it might be brilliant. Talk about cheap advertising and HUGE impact. I can see the discussion: “what could we put on the streets that people would see… billboards have been done and they cost…” could have been strollers, too. Maybe we should take a hint and use our bicycles as billboards.

  • advertiser

    Hmm. Is there any prohibition on bicycles carrying wings that would make them as wide as an automobile? They could take up the lane and carry a message…

  • hurry for the supermodels!
    this is such a better use of their superpowers than parking placard abuse that the Cadillac Escalade driving/parking abuse that model
    Kimora Lee Simmons performs

  • John Morris

    Um, I’ll have what she’s having.


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