For years I refused to ride a bike in the city. It seemed to me to be a sign of insanity. Too scary, too dangerous, there was no way. I was living in Paris and working in film when I finally mustered up the courage to try “getting around” on a bike. A shout out here to Velib', the Parisian bike share system. When a station popped up across the street from my apartment, I had no more excuses. I had to give city biking a try. The fun of discovering bike lanes and traffic lights, a whole world just for bikers, the intimate experience of the city, the speed and ease of avoiding subway delays and traffic jams, the pure joy of coasting on two wheels, I hadn't counted on any of this. My fear was tempered, to my great surprise, (but not erradicated entirely), and almost immediately, I was hooked.
Not long after this love affair began, I swapped out the loud printed jacket that I had initially been riding in for a black coat. It was a dark November afternoon, and my new attire led to a revelation, (and a close call with a Parisian bus.) On my bike, I was part of traffic. As long as drivers could see me, I would be OK. The biggest danger, I discovered, was that other drivers might not see me. If I wear something that makes me visible, drivers are far more likely to see me and we can share the road in harmony. (Huzzah! An actionable solution to my fears.)
I searched for something to wear over my regular clothes (black coat) to make me more visible to drivers while on my bike but only found the typical crossing guard vest. I wasn't directing traffic, I was traffic, and Parisian traffic, no less. Weren't there everyday clothes that could make me stand out in a good way, that could integrate with or even enhance, my wardrobe and my biking lifestyle, too? I didn't want to compromise on safety or style. Ultimately, I was so moved by this vision of safety wear as beautiful, stylish 'clothes you want to wear everywhere,’ as well as my desire to empower other cyclists to take their daily adventures by bike, that I founded VESPERTINE Haute Réflecture. I hope you enjoy the collection and I'd love to hear your feedback and ideas so please reach out. Vespertine is an evolving concept fueled by meeting your needs.
Thank you for visiting & always #MakeASeen,
Sarah Canner, Founder/Designer, Haute Réflecture® by Vespertine® NYC
About Canner: Passionate about cycling, design, safety, and the planet, Canner now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY with her partner, film-maker Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, and their young daughter. She produces her reflective fashion collection in NY.