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fall 2009

The mobility of youth cultures in the 80ies

In fall 2009, the Austrian division of the Italian Piaggio brand 'Vespa' collaborates with Fred Perry on occasion of the 100th anniversary of the sports fashion label. The fashion by the tennis player Fred Perry (he was 1934 the first Wimbledon champion who came from the working class) fits into the most associated image of the motor scooter: the Mods. But this is not all the scooter has to offer.

German/Austrian history of youth cultures in the 80ies

The Austrian division of Vespa refers back to the style of the 80ies Mods and Poppers; both had been Vespa riders. Mods represented the working class with the aim to become like the upper class and the Poppers had been the upper class kids with the aim to show it permanently.

Photo: The 'Fred Perry and Vespa' special edition is available exclusively in Austria, fall 2009.

On the other side of the mostly 'so proper' Poppers and 'pseudos' alias Mods had been other cultures, some say nothing more than trash and punk; but it's Trash-Culture and Punk that influences until today the lifestyle most. The trash and punk culture didn't reproduce 'copies'. The youth culture with the trash and punk appeal worked on authenticity and individuality and against conformity with a social group; with the effect to form an own group: the 'Punks'.

Whatever; the fashion addicted Mods, Poppers, Punks have already played in the 80ies with different fashion styles. 30 years later, the former Mods, Poppers, Punks are grown ups and enjoy the mix of 80ies fashion with new styles, especially jackets made of high-technological fibres, practical bags for laptops, and sportive sneakers with cushioned soles.

Video on Cruising through Rome on Piaggio Carnaby Cruiser and Beverly in 2009. Music: Icarus by Elizaveta and We Built This City instrumental live by Adam Palma.

Today, the Vespa and other Piaggio scooters had been acquired by different cultures without age limitation for a new freedom in the city.

The name of the scooter is the Latin word for 'wasp'. It had been the first globally successful scooter that became fashion in the 50ies.

In the 40ies the Vespa was designed and constructed by a helicopter engineer. The concept was to deliver an easy riding vehicle for men and women in the city. A great feature is the protection shield that keeps the driver clean and is a real wind breaker. Find out more about Vespa

Source: Original article with images and video on


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