In many ways the motorcycle clothing industry is polarised. At one end you’ve got technical gear touting scientifically proven techniques and produced in big factories. At the other is bespoke gear made by artists that captures the essence of the golden age of motorcycling.
Hedon Workshop, founded by husband and wife team Reginald Flint and Lindsay Chong, balances beautiful craftsmanship and style with all the safety features required by a modern helmet. Lindsay tells the Hedon story…
I met Reg nine years ago in China. He was working for a Belgian helmet company as a project manager and I was the creative marketing manager for all the Printemps stores [a French lifestyle brand] in China. We both had a passion for beautiful things and dreamed of working for ourselves where we could create anything we believed in or were passion about.
Reg always had a passion for bikes, which is why he got into the helmet business in the first place. During his post in China he learned all there was to know about making helmets. China has been the go-to hub for big helmet brands in the last decade or so due to the lower costs in labour, which led manufacturers to invest in more advanced technology, and an abundance of good craftsmen.
The motorcycling world is such a niche one already, making the industry for luxury, handcrafted helmets even smaller. There aren’t a lot of helmet manufacturers as it is an extremely tough item to make and having that safety element always makes things more complicated and costly. The reality was, there was a serious gap in the industry for beautifully made, retro-inspired helmets. Heck, helmets were never meant to be fashionable anyways. As a designer to the core I loved a challenge and paired with Reg’s technical know-how and supply chain networks, we saw an opportunity to fulfil our dreams and that was when Hedon was born.
I have always been extremely passionate about good design, especially in the realm of product design. My main motivations and passion are the challenges of designing and innovating products where form and function work seamlessly together. I believe that when that magical moment happens, style is effortless. Having a strong penchant for nostalgic and retro designs (I truly believe design, quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail were first and foremost in those eras) was really the main inspiration behind my designs. Timeless pieces. We were just lucky that it all tied in well with the booming new wave custom scene that was reviving all the classic and vintage bikes.
Quality comes first
The provenance of our materials is, of course, important to our goods and our company. But one must realise that the consistency of the material’s make-up is essential to maintaining the quality and integrity of our products. We believe that these types of good suppliers can exist in any part of the world. So the importance of the provenance also lies in the competence, experience and craftsmanship of the supplier, wherever it may be. We take our sourcing of materials seriously.
Aside from the most important aspect of safety comes design, which is almost as important as safety. Design is everything. Designing it to be as safe as possible while looking as stylish as possible has always been the core and passion of our work. Why should one compromise on safety and style? This was the challenge we wanted to tackle from the beginning and it has been an amazing journey so far.
Design and development
Three years of development and tests have been spent on making the Heroine helmet look and feel the way it does. There’s been a lot of work in trying to translate all these ideas and concepts into production and if anybody has done any manufacturing, they will know all too well that it is not an easy task. Having to manifest these ideas and also making sure they pass all the safety tests and maintain the level of quality that our team at Hedon are known for and are proud of has been our most difficult and proudest achievement.
We have collaborated with Malle, Shortlist and more recently Triumph Motorcycles. After quite a few collaborations we were approached by Triumph as they were interested in pairing our helmets with their classic bikes in their campaigns and we were more than happy to support them. We have lots of plans to bring in exciting products that encompass the essence and ethos of Hedon, and Triumph, in the future.