McQueen, Brando and Dean are the style icons of the modern day man. Not only do they represent a period when cultural rebellion and freedom reined free, they also initiated an entire movement based upon motorcycle culture. What we strive for nowadays is the desire to hark back to a period when manliness was defined by sweet rides, freewheeling lifestyles and rugged exploration. Lucky then, that there are numerous purveyors of vintage motorcycle culture popping up across the globe. In this series I’ll be looking at those who propagate the Wild One in us all.
The Southsiders MC, a group of six French motorcycle enthusiasts based in Toulouse, have quickly become key players in the custom scene. What started as the gathering of likeminded friends has grown into an internationally recognised club, with a vast following. These humble enthusiasts began with a blog in 2008, as a platform to showcase everything from their own custom motorcycles and adventures, to their passion for photography, surfing and men’s fashion.
Over the past seven years, the Southsiders have been building momentum in the custom community, which has culminated in the annual Wheels & Waves gathering in Biarritz. Starting in 2009 with 20 participants and no name, the event quickly grew into its current standing, with over 2,000 in attendance last year. What they have so enigmatically created is an event for likeminded individuals to gather and revel in the refined simplicity of speed, style and freedom.
Wheels & Waves is set to be even larger this year, with people travelling from all over the globe to be part of it. Over 4 days, motorcycles, art, music and surfing mix perfectly for an all-out parade of classic style.
It’s incredible to believe that a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts could engage with a feeling that so many of us experience. We want to feel free, and what better way of doing so than riding a motorcycle you’ve built with your own hands, listening to eclectic music and surfing in the south of France.
What the Southsiders MC and their Wheels & Waves show is an accelerated progression into the resurgence of iconic male style, all with a lavish dose of modern influence. It is, if you will, a retro-modernist community of unstoppable force.