Are you a cyclist who bemoans the fact that comfortable biking clothing isn’t stylish? NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy (LVMH) teamed up to present a challenge to FIT’s students to create stylish and practical activewear for cyclists. The students worked for a semester to develop designs for a poncho, jacket, and travel bag under the mentorship of their professors and designers at Donna Karen New York (DKNY). The top three finalists and their designs were honored at a conference in early June; read on for more, including the winner!
The finalists of the Bike in Style Challenge included Jessica Velasquez, Jane Carlton, and Stephanie Murphy. The winning design, by Jessica Velasquez, will be put into production in August of this year — helping to make cycling a little bit more stylish!
The competition was developed in response to NYC’s new bicycling initiatives — and Mayor Bloomberg’s overall plan to create a healthier and cleaner city for NYC residents. Engaging students in a real-world design process, the competition also used the talents and skills of the budding designers to create clothing for a growing eco-minded biking crowd.
Sponsored by LVMH, the student competition is one of many efforts that the luxury retail brand participates in to support citywide efforts towards environmental responsibility. LVMH was also a main sponsor of last year’s NYC’s Summer Streets. On three Saturday mornings in August 2008, a route from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park was closed to cars, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to take to the road. Summer Streets will take place again this summer — and is only one part of the NYC’s increasingly friendly attitude towards cyclists and pedestrians.
Janette Sadik-Khan, NYC’s Department of Transportation commissioner, already well-known for her decision to create more pedestrian space on Broadway, noted at the press conference that New York City is unique in its compatibility with bicyclists with “most of our trips under 2 miles.” So it should come as no surprise that Bloomberg’s administration has added 200 more miles of bike lanes to NYC’s infrastructure in the past three years, and just recently introduced new bike lane designs on 8th and 9th Avenues.