April 11, 2008

Design update

Update from Kyle of Safety meets Chic:

The idea for my project struck me one day (literally) when I ran into the back of a pickup truck while cycling to school. I usually wear a helmet, but this day I had a class presentation and didn't want to have helmet hair and look like a nerdy cyclist, so I left my helmet at home. I felt a lot less cool when I spent the next two weeks explaining to people that I ran into the truck and that's how I got the minor concussion,black eye and stitches. Reflecting why I didn't wear a helmet that day motivated me to pursue my current project.

Simply the purpose of my project is to design a "casual" helmet for North American women. My goal is to provide a fashionable alternative to the race-inspired, multi-vented spaceships forms and the garish graphics that typifies most helmets on the market. I would like to counter this with a tastefully designed, innocuous helmet that blends in with street fashion. In essence a helmet suits the task of a leisurely ride around town, running errands or commuting. I see this akin to wearing a casual street shoe versus wearing a technical hiking boot just to go to the store. Currently my direction is to design a helmet that is more akin to clothing then a protective gear. I hope to accomplish this by using natural materials such as wool, felt, leather and cork (as an alternative to EPS foam) which are less "techy /racy" appearing and more inspired by the heritage of millinery and traditional helmet construction.


Marrock said...

I really like the idea of using all natural materials in the making of it.

There's no real reason that bike helmets have to look like a rejected ship model from Star Wars and I know that's a major turn-off for folks that would otherwise wear one.

Personally, I've been scouting for vintage WW2 Russian tanker helmets, preferably the cloth ones since they were more comfortable than the leather ones.

If nothing else it'll have a bit of character and stand out from all the vacuformed plastic and EPS spaceship hulls out there.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, oh please, shop that idea around to a manufacturer!! Helmets that look like hats are what casual (and older) riders are looking for!

Amber said...

I think it is a great idea and you should try to market it.

Keep us updated!

Marrock said...

If you could do up some men's designs along these same lines using the same materials, I'd be all over them.

I'd love a helmet that didn't look like a helmet.

Especially if it did what most helmets claim to do and fail miserably... like keep the sun and rain out of your face, keep the skin from boiling off your head, and keep your head from doing that "Gallagher" splat thing on the pavement.

Maybe something in a vintage style to go with the vintage bikes I ride.

Kyle said...

Thanks for the kind words. I should be updating my blog soon with the finished version of the helmet along with some explanatory boards and additional sketches.

As far as production I would be keen to pursue this concept farther,and see what happens.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lacochran said...

I love this particular design. Very SoundofMusic-y.

Marrock said...

I'd love to see them go into production, my girlfriend loves '40s style hats and a helmet that emulates that style would just make her year.

Jennifer said...

i love this idea. i've been trying to find fashionable street clothes for my bike, but no helmet ever matches what I wear!
This looks great. I'd definitely buy a helmet like this.

Kyle said...

The final design is up on my blog ---finally! Let me know what you think!