"We have to make bicycling fun and elegant, which it is not yet in New York!" declares Renaud Dutreil, a big shot at luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. Dutreil rides a bike to his office on East 57th Street almost every day, and he thinks more people would do likewise if there was only a fashion alternative to the dominant DIY style of ripped jeans, tattoos, and Bushwick-bound butt cleavage.
So he teamed up with designer Donna Karan and DOT officials to sponsor a competition among students at the Fashion Institute of Technology, challenging them to design a poncho, a jacket and a travel bag for cycling that didn't sacrifice style for safety or utilitarianism. According to the Times, the winning designs by Jessica Velasquez from Queens, will be made into prototypes by DKNY. Her "Tech-Chic" travel bag, for instance, folds neatly into an envelope while providing plenty of space to stash accessories like high-heel shoes. Now someone just needs to design a sexy bike helmet that won't ruin carefully coiffed hair, right ladies?
LVMH is also a main sponsor of Summer Streets, which is coming back this year.