Tech-Chic: Jessica Velasquez's winning design
Tech-Chic: Jessica Velasquez's winning design

NEW YORK, Jun 10, 2009 / FW/ — In Paris, there are bike stalls all over the city wherein commuters and tourists can rent a bicycle using their debit or credit card. An initiative supported by the City of Paris and the French government, this is an innovative way of encouraging being environmentally friendly while keeping traffic congestion at bay and make tourists and residents alike happy.

Bringing this piece of Paris to New York, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods company, collaborated with the York City Department of Transportation and Fashion Institute of Technology to hold ‘Bike in Style’ design competition.

The Challenge asked student designers from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to create stylish, practical and affordable bike clothing and gear in support of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s bicycling promotion initiatives.

FIT students participating in the Challenge were charged with designing a set of biking essentials: a poncho, a jacket and a travel bag for both men and women.

Jessica Velasquez was awarded $5,000 for her designs, which won first place. Jane Carlton was awarded $3,000. Stephanie Murphy was awarded $2,000.

Prototypes of Jessica Velasquez’s designs will be unveiled this summer, in conjunction with the return of the City’s popular “Summer Streets,” of which LVMH is a main sponsor.

Debuted last year, Summer Streets closes a 6.9-mile route from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to cars for people to run, bike, walk and take part in activities on three Saturday mornings in August.

Expanding the City’s bicycling infrastructure to facilitate commuting by bicycle is part of the Mayor’s PlaNYC sustainability agenda, to create a greener, greater New York City. LVMH Inc.

Chairman Renaud Dutreil proposed to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) the creation of the “Bike in Style Challenge” earlier this year.