Customized for the perfect fit and heightened safety on (and off) the streets
by Katharine Erwin in Design on 22 August 2014
Bell Helmets, the all-American helmet company—has spent the last 60 years protecting racers and enthusiasts from head injuries. In various disciplines ranging from self-powered to gas-powered sports, Bell has positioned itself at the forefront of helmet technology. Now the company is taking "custom fit" to a whole new level with their new 3D imaging which conforms helmets to each customer's unique head shape. This process takes just a few minutes and ensures a perfect fit by capturing the shape of a rider's entire head using the latest scanning technology.
Bell's goal was to make a customization program that could be used for all riders and cost less than $1,000. The company spent over a quarter million dollars in R&D to create the system with the goal to make a comfortable helmet with uniform contact using energy management material. "Every head is asymmetrical," says Mike Lowe, Bell's Vice President of Power Product Creation, but until now standard helmets have been symmetrical and come in set sizes. If these sizes don't fit correctly, padding was added—or taken out. "It is a big misconception that more pads make for a better fit; they are actually less stable," says Lowe. "With time, the thicker padding will sag out or lose shape."
Older methods of custom measuring involved tape measure readings that only covered the circumference of the head—not giving an accurate measurement of a person's entire head. Sight lines are also an important consideration, and Bell's custom fit not only nests the head in a helmet, but "can position the head for the best field of view."
To promote the new technology, Bell has deployed a van outfitted with the 3D scanner. Its team has been traveling the country, from race-to-race, measuring riders for helmets. For street and track helmets, the rider first puts on a "head sock" made of thin neoprene. (It's a rather tight fit and looks a little like a surf cap.) Then the rider sits in a chair not dissimilar from a barber's. Next, one of Bell's custom fit technicians holds up a scan device and after taking an initial scan, the real scan begins—for which the chair rotates while the handle reads the rider's head. Within seconds, the rider's shape appears on the computer screen, and the scan is done.
Bell can also fit dirt helmets that have an opening for goggles. The scan is just done on the opening and follows the eye socket line to create the most optimal amount of peripheral vision. The data is then given to Bell, who produce the helmet within four to six weeks. Lowe and his team follow up with each customer, making sure that they're satisfied and understand that parts of their "crooked bumpy head have never felt a helmet there before and might feel weird at first," laughs Lowe.
The 3D system will launch locally at retailers near Bell's headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, with other dealers rolling out the program around the US throughout 2014. Bell is currently in the validation testing for ski, snowboard and bicycle custom helmets.
Images courtesy of Bell Helmets
Style-conscious products with plenty of space for storage
by David Graver in Style on 21 August 2014
It's very easy to look and feel weighed down when carrying around cameras, multiple lenses, or even a laptop. To combat this, NYC's ONA began producing simple and stylish bags, with functionality at the forefront. With a similar aesthetic to that of fellow camera bag makers Langly, ONA's offerings feature room for a laptop, a camera body, several lenses and all the necessary accessories without looking clunky. Though slightly bulky in shape (a quality almost impossible to avoid in camera bags), the Campus Bay and the Bolton Street bags are both comfortable and easily organized. To further sweeten the deal, the bags are crafted from premium waxed cotton or supple, full-grain cowhide leather.
ONA's most recent release, the satchel-style The Prince Street, dropped this week. It's handcrafted from premium Italian leather and incorporates antique brass closures. While it carries the charm of a vintage messenger bag, it's entirely functional.
Check out the full range of ONA's products online, where prices start at $129.
Images by Cool Hunting
The Dallas illustrator behind Fresh Kaufee on creating wearable art and his solo show at local lifestyle shop Epocha
by CH Contributor in Culture on 21 August 2014
by Chérmelle Edwards
Each morning Lenworth McIntosh—who also goes by Joonbug—opens his Fresh Kaufee Instagram feed with hand-drawn letterings and illustrations that simply say "Good Morning." The simple gesture is an extension of the full-time artist's Fresh Kaufee clothing brand and creative thoughts, which—for the first time—are on view in a solo exhibition at Dallas lifestyle store Epocha. We spoke with McIntosh to learn more about what drives him and his approach to making art.
How did the "Good Morning" series of illustrations begin?
The "Good Morning" project started with deciding to say "good morning." I saw a lot of hand-lettering artists practice drawing a word or a quote, so one morning I got the notion to draw "good morning to you." It was received so well, which was so amazing. People don’t get told "good morning" often enough and it’s such a simple thing to say—to brighten your day, to give you a head start. It’s snowballed into a series on cereal, cartoons and vintage video games.
Fresh Kaufee is more than an Instagram handle for you, it’s also your clothing line and a personal ethos. Can you share a little about your road to having a lifestyle brand?
I’ve been drawing since I was three or four. And, I’ve developed my own style. I draw from things in my head. And, when I draw from life I’m stretching what I see. I like to fuse art and create something new so I’ll play around with everything that I draw to make it fun and interesting. I started the clothing line in 2009. It was molded by my drive to become successful at what I loved to do. I found a niche in creating art that is wearable.
Can you explain what you mean by wearable art?
The Fresh Kaufee concept is to take what coffee does to the body and put it in a wearable platform. Just as coffee wakes you up physically once caffeine takes effect, my brand is like that pick-me-up. It supports a lifestyle of waking people up to what they really want to do. If you have doubts about your career, or you’re looking for support in going against the grain, my brand is here to support you. I use to work at McDonald's and I quit to do my art full time, which I’ve been doing since 2011.
That is inspiring!
Yes. I want to wake people’s creative senses so that they do what they love in life; provide them motivation for success. And success is a whole bunch of things. But at the end of the day, I can say I’ve made $2 more that day or I’m just happy—and that's success.
Having your first solo exhibition as an artist is a success. How did the collaboration with Epocha come to fruition?
Epocha is a menswear boutique and the owner and I are pretty good friends. He’s introducing a work-live environment with his store. It’s an organic environment, with a New York vibe and an old, repurposed basketball gym floor. The kitchen is on the same floor as where the apparel is sold, there’s a backyard, a DJ on site and a front living room-like gallery space where my paintings are. Once it was together, he said I had to come and do a show—over 200 people came out on the opening night.
The show is called "Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie." What are your show's themes and who is it named for?
Lenworth is from my father. But I wasn’t on good terms with my real father so I was against using that name, so I was using Joonbug—my nickname that is synonymous with my illustrations. But, I was always reflecting on what was happening in the world and I wanted to create a third side to my artistry and the things that I observe. Those themes are in the show and it’s under Lenworth to cover the conceptual, raw and thought-provoking things I thought needed to be exposed.
The show tackles the things that I was taught as a child about Christianity like in "Ominous Children," the one with all the eyes. It's a reminder that what we do in front of a child won’t be forgotten. Then there’s my ideas about women and how society deems a woman powerful by things like her shape and hair, so I did a piece where I made her powerful, vulnerable and bald. I wanted to make the show a place where you came, stopped, looked and reflected.
What was your creative process to get to this body of paintings?
There’s a lot of procrastination. Once I’m in the zone, I focus and knock it out. A lot of times the illustration is so easy, you just need a pen or pencil or paper or anything. And it’s so accessible. With painting, I’m priming wood, working with the canvas, setting out paints and colors—I think about that a bit more. But once the first stroke goes on, it’s all impulsive—there’s no thinking. I want it to be completely expressive: whatever goes on there, goes on there. And there’s really no mistakes—it's impulsive so whatever happens, happens.
‘’Lenworth, The Righteous Leftie" is on exhibit at Epocha through 30 August 2014.
Images courtesy of Lenworth McIntosh