Designer Henry Holland and I have a couple of things in common:
1. We both love Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.
2. We both had breakfast at London’s Soho House a couple of weeks ago to celebrate his new collaboration.
It goes without saying that I learnt the former by being invited to the latter (so don’t go thinking Henry’s on my speed dial, or anything like that). I was early and we got to chatting – he told me he’d just come back from a trip to the Antipodes, and I tried to hide my envy by babbling about hugging koalas (which you’re not allowed to do there anymore) and being scared of the reptile house on school trips way, way, way, way, way back in the day (when I think you were still allowed to hug koalas – or maybe that was Ferndale…).
Anyway, we weren’t gathered to make small talk about marsupials. No, we had risen earlier than usual to eat mini bowls of eggs benedict while having a squizz at the jacket he’d designed especially for Sky Ride - an initiative to get people back on their bikes.
I’ve always hated the utilitarian nature of safety ware. It doesn’t matter how great an outfit is, the allure is completely lost if you have to pop on a glow-in-the-dark, loose fitting monstrosity over the top just to avoid being hit by a Routemaster.
So, I get why Henry was asked to design something that has both style as well as safety in mind. And I love the result – purple with iridescent polka-dots are right up my cycle lane.
Henry Holland’s cycling jackets are available online now.
Thanks, Reem, for the invite.
All images © Kate McAuley