Dargelos - Lightening Vest

Audrey Robinson of Dargelos displays her gossamer Lightening Vest for night safety. photo: velojoy

It started with a fluorescent yellow running vest back in 2004. Audrey Robinson, a city cyclist since 1998, wore the vest for visibility on the road. Eventually, the vest fell apart, and at about the same time Robinson noticed a sea change in New York City.

Dargelos accessories are available at By Brooklyn and online at www.dar-ge-los.com.

Interest in cycling was gaining momentum, and Robinson, who had been designing prints for a knitware label, began to conceive accessories based on her own needs as a female cyclist. “I saw an opening for things that I needed and wanted,” she says. “And I didn’t know of anyone else making them.”

Robinson’s first step toward entrepreneurship in 2009 was to replace her running vest. The design that she came up with, the Lightening Vest, is a singlet, hand-netted of thin strips of fabric, custom-treated on both sides with a reflective coating. I bought one, and it’s so compact and lightweight that I can wad it up and carry it in a pocket. It’s also pretty enough to wear both for safety and as a fashion accessory. (See video.)

Thoughtful Details to Enhance the Ride

Today, Robinson works in a sun-flooded loft lined with work tables and sewing machines in an industrial building in Brooklyn. Her Dargelos line of beautifully crafted accessories is filled with thoughtful details for cyclists, the fabrics, materials and hardware all chosen with care. The simple, color-block oilcloth Trans/Porter (below, in red) converts elegantly from a shoulder bag to a backpack. When Robinson wanted a bag to carry just the minimum on her bike, she designed the Snap:Pack (below, in brown), which fastens to handlebars or a belt, or can be carried alone with a handle that’s included.

The Washington DC native has been making clothing since childhood and studied studio arts at Concordia University in Montreal. As her thoughts turned to launching her own business, she enrolled in a two-year associates degree program at Parsons The New School For Design, which she completed in 2009.

Dargelos - Snap:Pack

Knowing What Works

“I had always had an interest in fashion, but had not been attracted to ‘the industry,’ ” she says. “I’m a crafts person who loves materials and working with my hands.”

Robinson combined her love of art and cycling with fashion design in the launch of Dargelos in 2009. The name is inspired by a character, a boy played by a girl, in one of her film favorites, Les Enfants Terribles. She chose it to reflect the androgynous qualities of her designs.

Now on the drawing board: a soft hemp and cotton t-shirt featuring well-placed pockets – again, just for the essentials on a bike.

“I really take a lot of time to introduce something,” she says. “I don’t want to put things out there without knowing that they work.”

Dargelos - Flash Pendants

Flash Pendants for spot visibility on a bag hang on a bracket on the studio wall.

Work Table - Dargelos

Straps for Trans/Porter bags await assembly on Robinson's work table.

cycling tote and pack photos: Dargelos

4 Responses to simply beautiful cycling accessories by dargelos

  1. Maureen says:

    I couldn’t believe I read your entry this morning, and thought how great Audrey’s designs are – especially the vest. Then as I approached Audrey’s stand at the Bike Jumble, had the added pleasure of meeting you in person! What a delight Susi. Thanks for such informative and cheery blog entries and photos always!

    • velojoy says:

      Maureen, what an amazing coincidence that was! So enjoyed meeting you at Audrey’s booth at the Jumble, and thank you, as always, for your kind words.

  2. Mandi says:

    I was just telling some friends yesterday how I wished I could find some bike gear that wasn’t completely hideous, haha. I love the vest! I’ll have to check out her shop online. Thanks for sharing. -m

    • velojoy says:

      Mandi, thanks for your comment. Totally with you on the desire for simple, stylish bike gear for women!

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