The search for the perfect jacket is as elusive as finding that ideal pair of jeans, add to the pre-requisites a style that fits your penchant for cycling and the search becomes like the proverbial Dodo looking lively. Luckily Meame have developed a stylish blazer designed for cyclists that have an eye for style. Crafted in a striking woollen fabric (made in Yorkshire) with hidden reflective thread woven within it, their jackets have the aesthetic of classic tailoring with a style adapted for cyclists. They have designed a bike blazer with more room around the shoulders so it's cycling friendly, used temperature regulating fabric to help you keep your cool on the ride and then of course there is a reflective thread which glows at night to make sure you get seen after dark.
They had us at "Bike Blazer"! And with love in the air all this week, Meame have Exclusively given Hill & Ellis' subscribers a 20% discount on their range until Valentines Day. Just use the code ELLISLOVE at check out to take advantage of this offer.
The perfect gift for your sweetheart, or for yourself, this Valentines.
We caught up with the founder Megan Aylott to find out more about their brand, how they developed their iconic jacket, and their secret London cycling hideaway that they want to keep to themselves.
How did Meame start life?
Well the idea started to grow when Steven bought me a bike for my birthday a few years ago. I’d previously been really daunted by the prospect of cycling in a chaotic traffic ridden city, but I loved it and the freedom it gives you. So I started cycling a lot more around town, however I was still conscious of my safety and after getting drenched through a few too many times realised I needed some practical clothing.
The search began, and after searching persistently it ended fruitless other than a few sporty styles, or derivatives of males sports clothing, it felt like women were an after thought in the design process which frustrated me. Women are far more conscious about how clothing makes them look and feel, and items that are stylish, functional and offered discreet safety features weren’t available when I was looking. There was a clear gap in the market especially as cycling popularity grows, so with my fashion experience and Steven’s love for cycling, we set out to solve the problem.
Initially it set out to be a female only brand but during the development process, we began to get a lot of feedback from male friends, retailers, and male cycling enthusiasts that they wanted the same. With our smart styling, sleek aesthetics and technical features, we set ourselves a side from the market offering ‘Performance Fashion’ for active lifestyles.
With Valentines Day around the corner and love in the air, what romances you about cycling?
Cycling just has an air of romance! When your leisurely cruising and suddenly find a secret little haven in the city or an amazing sunset that’s romantic – the surprises that come out of a bike ride I personally find romantic.
The fabrics you use at Meame have cunningly hidden reflective thread. How did you design and manufacturing the fabric?
When we were developing the fabric, one of the core objectives was to completely disguise the reflective thread, so it wasn’t visible during the day. That’s what makes our fabric really cool. Along with our Yorkshire Mill (shout out to Yorkshire – it’s not that far from my family home) we played with the way the fabric was put together to hide the reflective. It was a balancing game to get the right amount of reflective within the fabric and ensure that we hadn’t disguised it so much that it wasn’t reflective when headlights hit the fabric. The fabric is made from a luxury wool, this fibre is naturally temperature regulating, which helps perform for you when your active. We’ve also added a Teflon water repellent coating, so getting caught out in a shower won’t be a problem. I really enjoyed creating our fabric – I studied textile design and reflectives at university so it was in my roots. Developing a fabric from scratch did mean getting the brand to launch date took a lot longer than the normal process, but it was worth it.
The Blazer feels so inherently British. What do you think is so special about this style of tailoring? And how have you adapted it for cycling?
The blazer is a wardrobe essential, the only problem with normal Blazer tailoring is you’ll usually find when you stretch your arm forwards for the handle bars for instance, it’ll be really tight in the bicep and uncomfortable. To solve this problem, we’ve taken the traditional shooting blazer as inspiration with the pleated back to allow for extra movement, and to make sure it doesn’t lose the slim fit we’ve added an internal elastic which will pull back the jacket pleats when upright to keep its sleek shape. For added benefits on your ride, we’ve included a number of features to help the rider, the key feature is our exclusive reflective fabric which helps increase visibility at night. Other features we adapted were to help regulate temperature so instead of fully lining the jacket we only used a half lining to give extra breathability in the back and have added underarm eyelets to increase air flow. It’s great for walking the dog at night too!
What’s your best secret cycle hideaway in London? (It’ll just be between us, honest.)
It’s not really a secret, but I love Lee Valley. It’s a real sanctuary, I love the water, the cycle routes and the peace and quiet, you feel like you’ve been transported a million miles away from the busy city. We live right in the centre of London, so those quieter escapes are blissful.
What is next for Meame in 2016?
We’re getting ready for the urban cycle trade show SPIN in the Spring, which will be great to meet customers and avid cyclists to get their feedback on the range. We’re also planning our next range, looking to develop some more accessories and jersey layers that perform well for every day life.
Why do you think Hill & Ellis and Meame make the perfect pair?
Both Hill & Ellis and Meame have a clean and smart aesthetic which work effortlessly together. The colour combinations Hill & Ellis use for the bags are great fun and really set off the jackets. We adore the Yellow Bradley … but we are biased because it’s an accent colour in our branding.
For those out there still looking for love, what’s your best chat up line?
Oh wow – that’s awkward, chat up lines – umm avoid cheesy ones at all costs? Although a friend of mine said the best way, is just to ask where someone is from – everyone has a story and that’s a good way to get chatting.
Remember we have arranged a 20% discount for our customers with Meame. Just shop on their website http://www.meame.co.uk and use the code "ELLISLOVE" to claim before Valentines Day.