Vega Wearable Light is a line of illuminated coats, jackets and accessories. The brand aimed to create wearable light for safety (while cycling, running, or walking) while still looking stylish.
As the founder and lead designer, I kept the designs and technology as simple as possible so that wearing light could be easy and no different than your everyday clothing.
All the garments retain the integrity of a concept I call off-value. Does the piece work as a garment even when the electronics are turned off? Does it have any value to you as a wearer? The added electronic functionality comes after the garment’s value as a garment. All of the Vega jackets and coats are at their most basic, stylish, well-crafted jackets, not advertisements for light. It’s usually a surprise for others to discover they can also light up.
The first coat available for sale, was the Vega One (2011)
The Rainbow Light Coat (2014):
Selected Work 2010-2014
In 2009, Mackey designed her first illuminated jacket as part of her graduating work from fashion school in Toronto. The brand, Vega Wearable Light, was then founded in Gothenburg Sweden by Mackey and Ian McCallum in 2011 with the launch of the Vega One illuminated coat online at vegalite.com. The product offering quickly expanded to include a range of outerwear pieces for the busy city lifestyle, examples here. Each year the electronics and clothing designs improved and adapted to the new and growing market for wearable electronics.
In 2013 Vega collaborated with the Social Body Lab at OCAD University to create the Vega Edge – a wearable light accessory. This item embodied the concept of Vega Wearable Light without an entire garment with integrated lights. This made Vega more accessible – providing customers a more affordable option with more versatility in their wardrobe.
With the success of the Vega Edge Kickstarter campaign in March 2014 the brand’s focus shifted to wearable light accessories, though garments and coats with integrated lights continue to be developed as part of design research for the future of illuminated and smart clothes.
Press & Publication
Vega has attracted attention in the press, having been featured in The London Evening Standard, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan magazine, Fashioning Technology, Ecouterre, Talk2MyShirt and more.
In 2014, we were honoured to have been featured on the cover of Kate Hartman’s book Make: Wearable Electronics:
Special Light Photography
One of the challenges of documenting and marketing Vega has been photographing the garments in a way that does the lights justice. Photography is essentially the capture of light, but when you want to capture the details of a garment and the brilliance of its light sources things get tricky. I have been lucky to work with Henrik Bengtsson, who has helped me get these stunning pictures of the actual lights in camera without adding them in Photoshop – which is something we’re very proud of. This has helped capture the essence of the brand. I’ve written about the process here.