Millinery Helmets


Sawako Furuno designs bicycle helmets as chic and sophisticated as any hatmaker would create. Born in Japan, she studied as an architect, and later received her masters at Oxford. Oxford is cycling city. As a student, Sawako was a lodger at the home of an elegant 80 year old woman, who happened to own the most beautiful bicycle Sawako would use to travel around town. It was there that her appreciation for cycling and its culture began.

Sawako moved to London to pursue a career in architecture and continued cycling as her mode of transportation. After a couple of close calls, she realized it was time to start wearing a helmet. Finding only road biking and racing styles available — the right idea but the wrong look — she decided to make her own. Producing 150 to start, she was soon spotted by Daily Candy in London and orders began pouring in. While she enjoyed architecture, she was passionate about these helmets and a side project would soon become her career. Furuno eventually gave up architecture to focus her creative energy full time on producing a line of posh helmets for the urban cyclist.



Sawako recently moved to New York where I had the opportunity to meet her last week for a coffee at one of our favorite cafes, Smile, in the Shinola store in Tribeca. She rode to our rendezvous on a beautiful purple Bobbin Bicycle, perfectly put together in the outfit above, and of course topped with her own Leopard Leatherette helmet. A few of her other designs are above. From tartans to animal prints to florals, these helmets have such flair, you might choose to wear them whether cycling or not.

Sawako Furuno helmets are available online at Sawako Furuno, Adeline Adeline and Papillionaire Bicycles