The Nieuwe Heren or New Gentlemen have only been around for a few short years but already they have made some very recognizable products – such as the barrel lamp picked up by new brand New Duivendrecht for instance. Now they have come up with a solution to a polluted commute to work: the Aegis parka.
Design.nl spoke to Tim Smit (one half of the duo he forms with Erik de Nijs) about this new project:
Tell us a bit about the Aegis parka, how did it come about?
“We were both grabbed by an article showing how severe pollution in big cities can do considerable damage to your health. Influenced by this issue, we started discussing ways to handle this problem in a metropolitan fashion.”
We know Nieuwe Heren best for product design, why this switch to fashion?
“The thing we enjoy most about having our own brand is that we do and design whatever we like. Sometimes that’s creating over-the-top graphics and embedding them into our website, other times we feel like sitting behind a sewing machine and making a parka that detects urban pollution. Also, we feel that fashion and technology could create an interesting cross breed in the world of design.”
The name Aegis refers to the the shield of Zeus in the ancient book of the Iliad. What does the garment do exactly?“The main purpose of the garment is to detect pollution, a sensor in the parka registers hazardous molecules and signals you of the intensity. The more Led’s illuminated the worse the air quality. A built in respirator with an active carbon filter helps you inhale fresh air. Also, the jacket itself helps cleanse the air thanks to a solution of titaniumdioxide.
And what about it’s design, not your average off-the-rack jacket.
“As designers we love a more radical approach to design and in this case went for a futuristic look. If taken into production though we would choose a more serene look instead of tinfoil and neon colours.”
What role will the Aegis parka play in the rest of your collection?
“This product shows that we can do more than just make good designs, it shows that Nieuwe Heren is growing up.”
Will we see Aegis parka hanging in the shops soon?
“This version is definitely a more couture version, and it’s a statement in itself. We would be interested in collaborating with a clothing brand to take the design into production and make it a wearable product that can contribute to collective health.”
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