Unless you’ve still got your 80’s legwarmers lying around, high-visibility clothing is usually confined to the wardrobes of lollipop ladies and construction workers. But following the Boris Johnson bike boom there are now 645,000 journeys a day by bike in London alone, and most of us are guiltily tiptoeing around the fact that hi-vis is a cycling essential. Whether you’re channeling normcore or riding the Gucci wave, neon green isn’t easy to accommodate into your every day outfit, and many cyclists are paying the price.
London Cyclist Doug Bairner experienced this first hand when he was knocked off his bike on a busy London roundabout, an incident that inspired him and his wife Lucy Bairner to co-found their brand LUMO through crowdfunding.
Having launched via two successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2015, LUMO are going back to Kickstarter with three new products this autumn season starting at under £100: The Clissold Bomber Jacket, Brixton Messenger Bag, and the Holloway Gilet. With an understated British style, the range is designed to look as good in a bar as it does on a bike.
Going by the premise of 'would we feel good walking into a bar to meet our friends wearing this', the duo combine classic wardrobe staples such as the Harrington and Parker jacket with technology that’s invisible to the uninformed eye. Concealed within waterproof and wind resistant cottons, LED lighting can be switched on and seen from up to 400 meters away and recharged at your computer in the office.
So we asked the team, why not just take off your high-vis vest when you get to work?
'Because city cyclists dress for their destination as well as their journey,' Lucy answered, 'and walking into an office, restaurant or bar looking like a radioactive lemon just doesn't work!'
But that’s not all, Project Tokyo launching through Kickstarter on September 13th marks the start of the Bairners’ five-year venture into wearable tech. Through integrating navigation technology, wireless smartphone charging and contactless payment options into their clothing and accessories we’ll soon have no excuse not to use Sadiq’s proposed cycle routes, and rock some high quality (and high-vis) garms whilst doing it.
'We want to inspire more people to enjoy the freedom of their city on two wheels,' explains Doug. 'So we decided to make clothing that makes city cyclists feel safer on their bikes without having to compromise on how they look when they walk into an office or bar. Urban commuting is as much about the destination as it is about the journey and everything LUMO does aims to deliver the best experience for both.'
LUMO's new autumn 2016 ‘London Central' collection is now available at lumo.cc