Changing the face of Czech cycling, sisters Eliska and Dagmar Mertova—the dynamic duo behind Prague-based fashion label Segrasegra, sistersister—are doing it in sustainable style. With outerwear, jeans, sweatshirts, T-shirts and a few specially designed "wheel-to-work, peddle-to-party" pieces for women, the line is defined by its use of bicycle innertubes in its design, which has both practical and aesthetic purpose. Explains the sisters:
We visited a few bike shops and got the old tire tubes for free. [The material] has found a really great use on our clothes. So if anybody has some at home, bring them to us!
A special line of day-to-night wear designed for cycling women includes several shirts and a short tailcoat also incorporates the tubing in the details of the construction in a feminine but biker-chic way.
One smart-looking windbreaker features a strip of bike tire tubing around the waist to prevent the jacket from riding up while cycling. The design also helps to avoid messy cleanups after wet roads cause kickup dirt on a cyclist's back. It's something of a "wash-and-get-going-again" system. Decorative use of the tubing is also used in subtle strips and stripes on jeans: around the seat and knees for extra cushioning and around pant pockets, great for stashing valuables while biking.
Reflective stripes and prints are not only a graphic touch but it protects all-weather cyclists who ride in low visibility conditions or at night: An arrow on one jacket follows the direction of your pointing finger as you warn drivers of your oncoming turn.
Segrasegra was inspired by the sister's experiences of living abroad. Dagmar spent one semester in Finland where people ride through all seasons and Eliska spent two years in Berlin where she said the biking mentality is the same. Their efforts to give cyclists an option beyond the tight spandex-style look is already paying off: one local sandwich company is dressing their employees in the clothes and Zdenek Tuma, leader of one of the Czech Republic's political parties, is cycling in one of their T-shirts. Bike on Segrasegra!