“It kind of started around when Barbie came out. I watched it and fell in love with Ryan Gosling, so I made my way through his movies. Drive really stuck out to me. I tend to get hyperfixated to things very quickly, so I’ve been building my collection over the past few months.” Including, of course, the jacket, which Mikey wore to the cinema the day before we speak. “I’m planning on wearing it for Halloween as my costume, too, once I get some fake blood.”
One of the great (and few) advantages of the digital age is that there’s a community to be found for anything, even such niche obsessions as mid-budget Gosling movies from the 2010s. Given I found Mikey on Twitter, I’m curious: is there a wider Drive fandom to which he belongs? “It’s more of a general Ryan Gosling fandom I am a part of, but I’m the person I see mostly talking about Drive, so I guess you could say I’m the Drive Guy,” he says. “It’s also where I met my now girlfriend, which is really funny.” No prizes for guessing which movie they bonded over.
Kaia, 20, from Blackpool, England, saw the film a year or so ago. “There was something about Gosling’s character I related to heavily. He’s sort of this loner guy who nobody really understands. I felt a connection with this unnamed character and instantly knew I needed the scorpion jacket for myself.” He didn’t want to settle for a cheapo reproduction; after a lot of legwork, he managed to find an original 2012 replica from Steady Clothing on Facebook Marketplace, bought from a guy who vacationed in California when the movie came out.
He wears the jacket often, but he mostly saves it for movie nights. “I mainly wear it while watching the film,” Kaia says. “It makes me feel more connected with the character and the film, I guess.”
As to whether the Drive jacket is going to soon fade into obscurity, riding off into the horizon like an unspeaking yearner with a knife in his gut, Kaia is skeptical. “There is this sort of aura around the Driver and the jacket,” he says. “I don’t see it dying in popularity any time soon.”