The Cyclist is a series of bags for urban cyclists which perfectly blends practicality, elegance and safety.
All bags of the collection are designed to fit the busy everyday life of urban cyclists. The starting point of the project is the wish for the bags to fulfill three requests which at first seem almost contradictory. First, the bags should be very practical, also while riding a bike. Second, at the same time they should also be elegant enough to be taken to work for instance. And last but not least, they should help to improve the safety of the cyclists while on the road.
On the front/lower part of all three bags, ribbons of retro-reflective material are woven into the bag's surface. This woven pattern gives its unique appearance to the collection, but also has a safety function: the retro-reflective material lights-up at night under the front lights of passing cars, making the cycler more visible to surrounding traffic.
This is a project by a young product designer with a passion for cycling and who believes that practicality, efficiency and a reduction to the essential should not be at all opposed to a sensitive, aesthetic, poetical approach. Beauty and practicality are complimentary to one another and even ornaments, patterns and decoration can become part of this equation.
The collection is made up of three bags : Claude, Penelope, and Maddalena. All three bags are designed specifically to fit the needs of city cyclists when it comes to transporting everyday items comfortably and efficiently, yet elegantly. The looks of The Cyclist's bags are inspired by high-end leather goods and the bag’s appearances perfectly blend into an urban life-style.
Claude is a unisex backpack. It has a big main compartment including a laptop section. There is small pocket inside the main compartment and another small pocket hidden on the outside’s lower back for items such as keys and your mobile phone.
see and read more about Claude
Penelope is designed for women who want it all. It is an elegant bag designed to carry around all the items needed for a busy work life and it is also suited for biking around the city.
see and read more about Penelope
Maddalena is a smaller bag with a classical shape, but just like Claude and Penelope, its twist lies in the use of retro-reflective material, which is both a decorative and a safety element.
see and read more about Maddalena
The story behind the project
The Cyclist is a project by young French/Dutch product designer Julie Thissen. This project started as her master’s graduation project in the spring of 2013. It took one year of hard work after graduation to develop the project and make it ready for manufacture.
In her youth Julie spent a couple of years living in The Netherlands, where biking is simply and unquestionably part of everyday life. She got imbued with the Dutch cycling culture and acquired her taste for the sport. Whether this means riding through rain, wind, hail or on a lovely sunny day, ultimately what she enjoys the most about cycling is the feeling of freedom it awards.
At that point in time she spent the foremost of her free time producing all kinds of objects, clothes and other projects as an autodidact. Along the way she acquired skills and experience in the field of sewing and textile. From there, the step towards studies in product design seemed almost obvious. At the Parisian design school Ensci-Les Ateliers she discovered new materials and techniques such as ceramics, wood, glass blowing, bronze casting, bookbinding, leather working and computer assisted manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing. Here she developed her technical competences, her multi-skilled approach and she got acquainted with the French taste for aesthetics.
For her graduation project, Julie wished to associate elements from her French and Dutch background. This includes on the one hand her passion for biking and her interest in a design approach where efficiency and practicality play a key role and on the other hand, her knowledge of materials and manufacture techniques as well as her feel for aesthetics. By allying her wish for efficiency and practicality to her taste for beauty and poetry in objects, she came up with a product specifically adapted to cyclists and where function meets aesthetics : this is how the idea behind The Cyclist was born.