Skip to main content

A Nod to Mod

Apparel meets performance art in this immersive, moto-inspired event.

Inspired by the “modern” look and feel of Italian aesthetic, mod subculture has long had a historical link to city growth and timeless design. In fact, a recent New York Times article reported that the Vespa scooter retains the highest vehicle resale price, with a widening demographic appeal. Considering Portland’s population rises by about 578 people per week, leading to increased mobility hurdles, it’s self-evident why the scooter is a growing choice for city dwellers.

Dawn Moothart, co-founder of the brick-and-mortar Portland Apparel Lab (PAL), is one of these Vespa owners. The startup mentor purchased her Vespa a few years ago and will be partnering with newly minted dealership owners Andrew Callaci and Michelle Hooton of Vespa Portland on their Design Week Portland event, A Nod to Mod. Their hope is to bring together the Vespa and design communities.

"Vespas have such classic, beautiful lines and fine details, and the community of scooter enthusiasts in Portland is growing. Portland is a hotbed of apparel and accessory design talent, and I hope they’ll be inspired by the bikes and the culture that goes with them," said Moothart, who’s worked with fashion brands such as Mink, Wildfang, and Airblaster. “At Vespa Portland, we already have an awesome customer base with many riders involved in the local scooter community. I'm sure the designers, and people who appreciate design in Portland, have a similar passion for what they do,” added Callaci.

While the show specifics are still under wraps, attendees can expect things to unfold through performance art. "We have the talented eye of Jennifer Thomas Elder as show coordinator, and she’s developing a unique piece that involves models both on stage and in the crowd," said Moothart.

Participating designers include a mix of existing and new faces from PAL. So far, Betty Rides, Carla Mink, ElizaBeth Rohloff Designs, Get Sushi Designs, Judee Moonbeam Studio, Le Shack, Mystic Sister, Optic Nerve Knits, Shahira Kamal Custom, Soap Stealer, Fat Cat Hats, and Sacks are on the roster.

With a heavy emphasis on community and collaboration, scooter enthusiasts are encouraged to bring their own Vespas to this highly anticipated, free event.