LVMH announces New York biking initiative

NEW YORK: Paris-based LVMH has introduced an initiative challenging Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students to design bike apparel and gear, an effort that aims to further LVMH's sustainability efforts in the US.

NEW YORK: Paris-based LVMH has introduced an initiative challenging Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) students to design bike apparel and gear, an effort that aims to further LVMH's sustainability efforts in the US.

The company has a history of sustainability initiatives. This one will encourage biking as an eco-friendly, standard means of transportation in New York City.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the company announced details of the initiative – it had not been publicly announced prior to the conference – as well as the winning designs with strategic partners including FIT, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office, and LVMH-owned DKNY.

“We think that especially during these tough times for the economy we need innovation; we need freshness and to be more connected to the day-to-day life of people,” said LVMH chairman Renaud Dutreil.

LVMH, working with corporate PR agency Kekst, tapped Hilary Duff, celebrity designer for DKNY jeans and a bike enthusiast, and French actress Marion Cotillard to attend and support the initiative.

"We really have to show our ability to innovate, to open new doors, and to be different from our competitors in the way we approach the core of the [luxury] industry,” said Dutreil of the promotional strategy. “Connecting public service, general interest values, eco-friendly topics, education, and fashion – those different ingredients... can create something new."

The effort will also unveil three of the winners' items as prototypes in August, during the “Summer Streets” program, which encourages people to bike, walk, and run. Sponsored by LVMH, the program is part of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, a nonprofit organization that establishes public-private partnerships.

"There are things the Mayor's Fund can do with private sector partners like LVMH and FIT that the City cannot do on its own," wrote Jason Post, New York deputy press secretary, via e-mail.

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