Archive for the ‘Cities and countries’ Category

Melbourne Design Market here we come!

We’re back for the winter edition of the Melbourne Design Market 2011 with our friends Jellybean Bikes ( this Sunday 24 July 10-5pm.

For the winter markets we’ll be bringing along some of our fabulous reversible capes, waterproof trenchcoats, reflective gloves and legwarmers and cosy scarves.

If you’ve never been to the market you’ll find an ever-inspiring, ever-tempting array of great design stalls, cool grooves, coffee and happy crowds. For more information about the market go to www.melbournedesignmarket.?

See you on Sunday!

Introducing Wet and Wendy

Is it wet and wendy where you are?

Here in Melbourne this week it seems like we’ve had never-ending rain, from a light drizzle to a full downpour. It hasn’t stopped us from getting out and about though, thanks to the new raincoats we’ve got in store from local Melbourne label Wet and Wendy.

Firstly, we adore their cute name and their mantra – LOVE THE RAIN! Secondly, we’ve given their raincoats a test-run with this week’s weather and we think that you’ll love these stylish, functional and portable raincoats as much as we do.

They come in two styles, a longer raincoat and a shorter cape-coat, and in two colours. We’ll be taking some sample colours and sizes to the Melbourne Design Market next Sunday 24 July if you want to see them and try them on.

Winter Elegance

via Face Hunter

Finders Keepers Market – 2 and 3 July

This weekend we’ll be making our way up north for our first interstate market!

If you’re in Brisbane, come and say hi at the most fabulous Finders Keepers Market on Saturday 2 July and Sunday 3 July at The Old Museum at Herston.

The market supports local independent creative design, with over 65 stalls, food and free live music performances. It’s a great day out and you can check out a review of a previous event (held in Melbourne) here.


Saturday 2 July 10am – 5pm
Sunday 3 July 10am – 5pm

The Old Museum, Cnr Bowen Bridge Road & Gregory Terrace, Herston

Public transport:
Bowen Hills and Brunswick Street railway stations are less than a 10 minute walk from The Old Museum, and buses access the surrounding streets regularly. For further information on public transport, phone the Transinfo line on 13 12 30, or visit

There is no parking available onsite. The RNA showgrounds is offering Finders Keepers patrons all day parking in their carpark for a flat rate of $10. The parking lot will be open from 9:30am – 6:30pm daily.

New Bike!

Did we mention that we bought a new bike on the weekend?

A spur of the moment purchase of a step-through ladies bike from Melbourne custom bike company Mojo Bike (we’ve blogged about them before).

Our black Dutchie was an ex-demo model from their scratch and dent section and you’ll be seeing it in our future photoshoots and markets. We’ve currently adorned it with our orange and white floral Kitsch Kitchen panniers and took it for its debut ride to the Queen Victoria Markets to get ingredients for our slow-cooked beef bourguignon.

Brooks England deliciousness

We are big fans of the cycling products from Brooks England but we have chosen not to stock them because they are quite easy to find at most local bike shops and frankly a bit out of our price range.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t drool over their products – in particular, their latest release of bike bags named after two of our favourite leafy London suburbs – Islington and Hampstead.

J’adore Comptoir des Cotonniers

One of my favourite clothing labels is the French high street chain Comptoir des Cotonniers. It’s so easy to capture the easy chic style of French women in their clothing and in fact one of my favourite jackets, a bright orange swing coat (seen here), was bought on sale in Paris.

Now I love them a little more because their Winter 2011 catalogue showed a couple of cycle chic images. Oh, tres chic!

Bike basket pies

Brrr cold weather is definitely pie weather, which makes us wish that Bike Basket Pies were able to deliver pies to our door!

Bike Basket Pies is a one-woman pie baking and delivery service based in San Francisco. Natalie Galatzer sources seasonal ingredients locally and organic where possible to make her ever-changing pie menu (tummy rumble for the shaker orange pie) and delivers the cupcake-sized goodies on her bike.

We particularly love her ‘About’ page which asks ‘Why by bike basket?’

Natalie was introduced to big city biking when she moved to San Francisco, and is totally addicted. Plus riding a bike is a low cost (and no pollution!) way to get around town. Way faster than the 12, or the 27, or the 26, or the 14, but maybe not faster than the BART. So she bakes and bikes and is pretty happy. She just wishes the amount of calories she burned while delivering pies was equal or greater than the amount she gains while taste testing pies. (I guess not everything is perfect in this world).

Stylish disorientation – London cycle chic guide

Spanish jewellery designer Patricia Nicolas gives her cycle chic tour of London at Vogue Espana‘s blog ‘Stylish Disorientation‘.

She writes ‘The best route through the city, to go safely and away from the all traffic, is to go by the Regents Canal. It starts on the Thames, near Saint Catherine’s Dock, meanders through the city and ends in Manchester! Along the canal, do not miss the London 2012 Olympic city. Go a little further along Victoria Park and if you continue north you will pass by Camden Lock, Regent’s Park and you can even get to Notting Hill.’ (PS This is one of our favourite London cycle routes as well.)

Shorts  – Sisley

Socks – Gap

Blouse – Maje

Wool cardigan – Benny Room

Shoes – Juan Antonio López

Jewellery- Patricia Nicolás

Photos – Kirsty Stevens

Frocks on Bikes Northside Garage Sale Trail

The beautiful ladies of Frocks on Bikes Melbourne are organising another fabulous ride this Saturday 4 June. This time they’re doing a northside garage sale trail – bikes and bargains, what fun!

Join us on Saturday 4th June as we trawl the streets of the inner north hunting down pre-loved salt and pepper shakers and classic movies on VHS. And then assuage any buyer’s regret over lunch. Somewhere in Northcote venue TBD. Meet at Edinburgh Gardens Rotunda at 10am.

The Facebook event details are here. And to whet your appetite for the ride,  here’s a video from the last ride thanks to our blog reader Suzie.

Frocks on Bikes from Suzie Haslam on Vimeo.

The Thousands

The Thousands all around the country ran a story about our Freehands Gloves and even provided a giveaway to their readers!

Winter Cycling Tips

Image from

We hope that the first day of winter hasn’t discouraged you from cycling for the next three months.

Here are some winter cycling tips from Transport for London – they should know, winters in London aren’t exactly mild!

See where you’re going

  • As the nights draw in, it’s important to have good bike lights; white at the front and red at the rear

Be seen

  • Make sure you can be seen in the dark or in bad weather conditions
  • Wearing reflectors and high visibility clothing helps everyone to see you – including pedestrians! Check out CycleStyle’s stylish reflective gear – the Disco-bright legwarmers, Pageant Queen Reflective Sash, Jenny Cycling Cape and hoodies by Pedaler Clothing.

Don’t get wet

  • Investing in a good lightweight waterproof jacket with breathable fibres is always worthwhile. Have a look at Pedaler’s Unisex Microsuede Anorak.

Keep your grip

  • There are a wide range of gloves available, featuring breathable waterproof materials, padded palms, and non-slip brake and gear change fingers, so there’s no excuse for chapped, dry hands! We love Freehands Gloves which keep your hands warm while still enabling you to use your phone, camera or switch gears.

Cover your head

  • The claim that you lose up to 75 per cent of your body heat through your head alone may be a myth, but if you wear a thin ski hat or balaclava under your helmet you’ll be sure to keep your head and ears warm. Why not pop an Otto and Spike beanie under your helmet?

For more tips, click here.

Vintage hued Portland Tweed Ride

The colouring of these photos from the Portland Tweed Ride are reminiscent of an elegant and romantic bygone era. Just lovely.

More photos from BikeRanger’s flickr gallery

Minneapolis Tweed Ride

Some lovely pictures from the Fall Tweed Ride held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can also read an article and check out more pictures of the ride here.

Dixon Bikes Dutch-style bikes

We’ve just discovered a new company based in Sydney who are selling Dutch-style bikes called Dixon Bikes.

The bikes have all the essential components for a commuter cyclist – a step through frame for upright posture, porterage via a back rack and front rack and protection from grease and dirt from the fenders, skirt guard and chain guard. They also come for the wallet-friendly price fromn $348 plus shipping.

Do you like the black, red or white?

Parisian elegance

Images by Vanessa Jackman during Paris Fashion Week SS2011. We are very partial to her cycling cape!

Magnificent Revolution

Magnificent Revolution is a not-for-profit education project based in London.

The organisation has been running since the summer of 2007 when they first built a bicycle powered cinema at the Big Chill Festival. MR uses bicycle power generators as educational tools in schools, colleges and communities to help people understand their energy use, its links with power production and climate change.

One of their projects is Cycle-In Cinema. Magnificent Revolution build bike-powered cinemas, from the full Magnificent Cycle Cinema system which uses up to 8 bicycles / 16 legs to power 600W of audio visual equipment for public film screenings or projections to the Pop-up LED Cinema which just 2 bicycles. In 2011, they want to put together 3 free regular Cycle-In Cinemas all over London. A new 10-bike generator will be built as a resource to be lent out to small organisations, schools and charities.

For more information, click here.

H&M knows Cycle Chic

Swedish high street label H&M has jumped on their bikes in their Amsterdam flagship store with their interpretation of cycle chic.

We think they’ve done a great job – breezy swing coats and capes for ventilation, layered tops, short skirts or shorts that won’t catch on your wheel or chain, colourful tights to keep your legs warm and a mid-height heel for elegance.

via Pays-Bas Cycle Chic

A chat with Chanie Stock of Genki

Melbourne loves its fashion and one of the most beloved labels of the city is Genki.

I first visited Genki’s Cathedral Arcade shop when I arrived in Melbourne way back in 2003. I immediately fell in love with the tiny colourful shop and the adorable aesthetic of their clothing and accessories, especially their ‘I love….’ range of T-shirts (I still own a limited edition tee designed to commemorate the 2006 Commonwealth Games – ‘I love the Games’).

Fast forward to 2010 and I discovered that after a hiatus from the retail world, Genki was reopening with an online store. As I browsed through their collection I realised what was missing – ‘I love cycling’! So on a whim I contacted Chanie Stock, the owner of Genki, and suggested that she launch a cycling t-shirt….and when she did I would stock them in CycleStyle.

Find out more about Chanie and Genki here…

Chanie, tell me a bit more about your background and how you came to start your store and label Genki?

I studied Arts/Law but my true love was always fashion. Even from a very young age I had a very clear aesthetic and dreamed of having my own label. My grandparents worked in the fashion industry so it must be in my blood, but unfortunately they sold the family business when I was just a baby. I got my first job at Portmans when I was only 14 and then continued working in retail all through school and uni and never tired of it.

I decided to leave my job as a lawyer after 2 years to pursue my dream to work in fashion and after a few years as a buyer, I decided to open Genki. Many people though I was crazy as there was nothing like it happening at the time and no one (except the first incarnation of Alice Euphemia) was in Flinders Lane. But I had such a clear vision for Genki – that it break away from traditional retail concepts and be something totally new. I wanted to create a space where it didn’t feel like you were shopping but more like visiting a friend.  When I discovered the Cathedral Arcade space I had butterflies in my belly, as I knew it was perfect and then with the amazing design by Six Degrees my dream became real.

I was inspired to sell all the things that I wanted to wear but couldn’t find locally (remember, this was 1998, well before online shopping). The original product mix was Japanese accessories, homewares and clothing, mixed with exclusive UK labels like YMC and US brands, Daryl K and Built by Wendy (which at the time were only available at Genki in Australia).   I also tested a few simple styles by the Genki home brand, which to my surprise really took off. So as time went by the Genki label developed into something very special with its own identity and great loyal following.

One of your most popular lines is the ‘I love…’ T-shirts. What’s the story behind how you came to develop that range and your collaboration with Beci Orpin?

This is a funny story which shows how even with a clear business plan things pop up along the way that you never expect.

I had a weird vintage t-shirt from when I was little that said ‘I love talking’ with the strangest illustration of a boy (like those oddball 70s tees that are NQR). At that time I had just started working with Beci, who I met through Misha Hollenbach (who designed the Genki logo and the graphics during the first year). The minute I met Beci I knew she was a kindred spirit. We instinctively understand each other’s language and working with her is effortless and always a joy.

So, back to the “I love..” t-shirts…. I went to Beci with the idea for an “I love talking” tee with a Genki character. It was an instant success. The rest just flowed from there. Soon they had a cult following and even now, 12 years later, people still love them.

Where do you turn to for design inspiration?

When I had the Genki shops, I used to get a lot of inspiration on my trips to Japan. It is a place that truly stimulates all the sense and is an aesthetic paradise. But it also gave me a break from the day to day so my mind would open up to new ideas.

Today I can’t travel as much as I did, but I find inspiration in the simplest of things. Food, nature, films, art, old magazines but mostly inspiring friends. There are some days when I wake up and feel fresh and clearheaded and I know something exciting will happen. I don’t want to get old, dull and boring so I need to keep learning and surrounding myself with innovative people.

You used to have very popular shops in the City and Windsor but now sell only online. What kind of challenges have you faced launching an online store?

Closing the city shop in 2009 was very difficult for me and while it was the right decision I still miss that part of my life. It was such a pleasure to go to work with fantastic staff and wonderful customers and do what I loved most. It wasn’t just about selling fabulous things. We laughed and chatted and built close friendships and a special community. My challenge with the online store is how to preserve some of that magic and create that warmth and familiarity in a virtual space.

It has taken some time, but since I turned the “Genki News” section into the “Genki Blog” so there has been a shift and I sense an online Genki community is forming.

What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own business?

The most important thing is really believing in what your business is about. Be it a product or a service, you must live and breathe it and know it inside out. Following on from that, it must be original and have your own fingerprint or flavour.

Assuming the passion and dedication is there the next step is good planning and discipline. A clear detailed business plan is essential and use the resources you have around you (for example if you have an accountant in the family or someone who has specialist skills). Never be afraid to ask for help.

What are your next plans for Genki?

I would like to develop the Genki Blog to touch on other aspects of life. Not just style, but food, hobbies and funny odd topics.

I will continue producing the “I love..” tees, the striped tees and the basic denim pieces as long as the demand is there. There have been many requests for our fleece hoodies and jumpers so I’m planning to bring them back for winter. My plan in the next 12-24 months is to reach new customers, especially the 18-25 year olds (the most popular age demographic back in the day).

Strapping a crate onto the back

In our travels around Melbourne we’ve often seen enterprising cyclists strap plastic milk crates to the back of their bikes to help carry all those bottles of milk/wine/beer home.

Bowery Lane Bicycles from New York takes this a glamorous step further, by handmaking vintage cruisers with American steel, dual-spring saddles, cork grips – and attaching a wooden crate stamped with their name on the back.

We’re thinking flowers, crusty baguettes and cupcakes in our dream cargo.