June 2, 2009
FIT Student's Winning Design in Bicycling Fashion Competition
Announced by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc. Chairman Renaud Dutreil, NYC First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Iconic Designer Donna Karan, Celebrity Designer for DKNY Jeans Hilary Duff and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard
New York, New York, June 2, 2009 - The winning designs in the "Bike in Style Challenge" were unveiled today.
As part of its longstanding commitment to the environment, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury goods company, today announced the winners of the "Bike in Style" Challenge. The Challenge asked student designers to create stylish, practical and affordable bike clothing and gear to support Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's bicycling promotion initiatives. 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.
The Challenge winner was announced at an award ceremony held at the LVMH Tower in New York City. The judges included: Renaud Dutreil of LVMH; First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris; Commissioner of NYC's DOT Janette Sadik-Khan; the iconic American designer Donna Karan; Celebrity Designer for DKNY Jeans and bicycling enthusiast Hilary Duff; Andy Darrell of the Environmental Defense Fund; and Dr. Valerie Steele of The Museum at FIT.
Oscar-winning French actress, environmental activist and face of the new Lady Dior advertising campaign, Marion Cotillard, made a special appearance to show her support for the project.
The 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. Photos of the winning designs accompany this press release.
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.
Renaud Dutreil, Chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc., said, "LVMH congratulates Jessica Velasquez for winning this Challenge and all of the other FIT students who submitted such extremely creative designs. It was difficult to choose one winner among them. We were delighted to work with the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the DOT and FIT on this project. The Mayor's Office and DOT have made exceptional strides in promoting bicycling in New York City. LVMH is proud to join them in this effort and is committed to promoting style, an eco-friendly attitude and a better quality of life for all New Yorkers."
Mr. Dutreil added, "LVMH's support of this Challenge and Summer Streets reflects our Group's dedication both to environmental protection as well as to fervently supporting young design talent. LVMH has long supported groundbreaking initiatives in these areas in France and we are delighted to now be an active part of these important initiatives in the U.S., with Bike in Style marking the beginning of our efforts." (See attached Fact Sheet on LVMH's environmental initiatives and support of new talent.)
The Challenge is supported by a grant from LVMH to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. The DKNY division of LVMH-owned Donna Karan International (DKI) executed the Challenge with FIT, and DKNY worked closely with the students to provide creative direction as they competed. DKNY is also developing the prototypes of the winning designs.
Ms. Karan said, "The DKNY brand is inspired by the energy, colors and fabric of New York. Our Design team focused on helping the students to incorporate these essential elements of the City into their designs, with the goal of making fashionable, functional urban biking a reality. We at DKNY are proud to be involved in a program that fosters the next generation of designers and will make New York an even better, more environmentally friendly, place to live and work."
First Deputy Mayor Harris said, "The Bloomberg Administration is dedicated to making New York the world's cleanest, healthiest city and to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. This cannot be achieved without the active involvement of corporations that share our vision for the future. We are grateful for LVMH's support of the Bike in Style Challenge and Summer Streets-Creative partnerships like this play an important role in our efforts to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers."
DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan added, "With more than 200 miles of new bike lanes added to our streets in just the last three years, and with new, innovative designs for our lanes and bike racks, biking to work is an increasingly attractive option for New Yorkers, and there's no reason why their clothing options can't keep pace. Bike commuting has increased by 35% in the last year alone, and these Challenge winners show that comfortable bike gear doesn't have to sacrifice the style that New Yorkers are known for".
Dr. Joyce F. Brown, President of FIT, said, "This Challenge presented a wonderful chance for our students to learn from the extraordinary designers at DKNY and test their own skills in creating practical, fashionable activewear that will help promote cycling as a mode of transportation. The students' talent and enthusiasm was strikingly evident in their designs and we are grateful to LVMH, the Mayor's Office and the DOT for giving them this opportunity."
About LVMH: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is the world's leading luxury goods group. The Group is represented in Wines and Spirits by a portfolio of brands that includes Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Ruinart, Château d'Yquem, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Belvedere Vodka, Chopin, 10 Cane, Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Green Point, Cape Mentelle, Newton. Its Fashion and Leather Goods division includes Louis Vuitton, the world's leading luxury brand, as well as Celine, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Thomas Pink, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Berluti, StefanoBi as well as eLUXURY, the authoritative online source for luxury goods on the Internet. LVMH is present in the Perfumes and Cosmetics sector with Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo, Perfumes Loewe as well as other promising cosmetic companies (BeneFit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Acqua di Parma and Fresh). LVMH is also active in selective retailing through DFS, Sephora in Europe and the United States, Le Bon Marché and la Samaritaine. LVMH's Watches and Jewelry division comprises TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Christian Dior Watches, Zenith, Fred, Hublot and De Beers Diamond Jewellers Limited, a joint venture created with the world's leading diamond group.
About the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City: The Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to aid City programs and support innovative public-private partnerships. The Mayor's Fund serves as an important vehicle for foundations, corporations and individuals wanting to support New York City's residents and make New York City an even better place to live, work and visit. For more information go to www.nyc.gov/fund.
About FIT: The Fashion Institute of Technology is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York, with 44 majors leading to AAS, BFA, BS, MA, and MPS degrees. Visit www.fitnyc.edu.