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Chic French retroreflective jackets light up Kickstarter

A former aerospace engineer and a fashion designer have teamed up to create Urban Circus, a French clothing brand that’s using reversibility, LED-integration, built-in crash pads and retroreflective ink to create chic cycling jackets that don’t look like cycling jackets. (It sounds better in French: “Créateur de vêtements haute visibilité.”)

28-year-old Quentin Xavier is the aerospace engineer, and 26-year- old Henri de Kergorlay – with his waxed moustache – is the fashion designer. The pair have launched their first products on Kickstarter, but are planning on becoming a brand with wider availability, including to the bike trade.

The first two hi-vis products are a traditionally-shaped zipped hoodie called the Banana Jacket, and a longer, padded parka-style Jongleur 5.0 jacket. Both feature patterned retroreflective inks. patterning and high-tech details so you’ll be seen.

The waterproof and breathable Banana Jacket will eventually retail for €140 but is available on Kickstarter for €85.

The padded Jongleur 5.0 jacket features a thigh-length cut and a hood. A front split allows for pedalling. Extended cuffs feature thumb holes to keep the jacket’s arms in place, and integrated thermal mittens.

There are four versions of this jacket, three of them reversible, starting at €109. The €149 version features LED turn signals and a touch-sensitive see-through pocket on the arm for storing and using a mobile device. The €195 version isn’t reversible but has elbow and forearm crash padding.

Urban Circus said it wants to hear from potential distributors.

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