Ryan Gosling has become synonymous with Halloween, especially due to his iconic role in the film Drive. Released in 2011, Drive became a cult favorite and featured Gosling as a stoic and mysterious character who sported a white jacket adorned with a golden scorpion on the back. This jacket instantly became a sought-after fashion item and has continued to maintain its popularity even a decade later. The influence of the Drive jacket extends beyond the film itself. It has made appearances in video games like GTA V and Hotline Miami, and even in the indie beat ‘em up game Sifu. Furthermore, Drive has become a meme sensation, with countless references to the film flooding the internet.
At least 90% of the popular Ryan Gosling “literally me” memes last summer were based on his Drive character. The jacket has even spawned a cottage industry of replica knock-offs, with fans willing to spend thousands of dollars to own an accurate recreation. Erin Benach, the costume designer for Drive, shares that the jacket is still the most frequently asked-about piece of her work. It surpasses even her designs for other Gosling films like The Place Beyond the Pines or the vibrant costumes in Margot Robbie's Birds of Prey.
Benach recalls the first time the jacket was showcased on set and knew it would leave a lasting impact. Many fans, like Robert from New York, have owned replica jackets for years. He received the jacket as a gift from his high school girlfriend during the peak of Drive's popularity. Robert admits that emulating Gosling's coolness was a challenge, but the jacket continues to be a cherished item in his wardrobe. Drive's influence has also trickled down to younger generations. The movie has gained popularity among Gen Z, thanks in part to viral TikTok trends and memes. Mikey, a 21-year-old student from England, discovered Drive after watching Barbie, in which Gosling voiced the character Ken. He quickly fell in love with Gosling's work and has since become a devoted fan. Mikey even plans to wear the jacket for Halloween.
The Drive jacket has undoubtedly amassed a dedicated following. While it may be associated with Gosling specifically, it has also become a symbol of his fandom in general. Fans like Kaia from Blackpool have formed connections and even found partners through their shared love for Gosling and his films. Kaia, who owns an original replica from 2012, wears the jacket during movie nights to feel more connected to the character and the film itself. The Drive jacket shows no signs of fading into obscurity. Its aura and allure continue to captivate fans worldwide, ensuring its popularity for years to come.