“You never know where inspiration is going to come from,” says Nutcase senior designer David Kruger.
Hula Vibe has some familiar Nutcase iconography, namely the hibiscus flower and the tropical palm leaf, both featured in earlier ‘Hula’ helmets like Hula Lounge.Yet Hula Vibe is unique for being the only Nutcase helmet (thus far!) inspired by a guitar.
It’s no secret that Nutcase founder Michael Morrow gets rest, relaxation, and inspiration from trips to the islands. But on one of his last trips he got something a little extra: a torn Achilles heel.
With extra downtime on his hands, Michael got out to the beach a lot, and on one trip became fascinated with a bright yellow-orange guitar intricately decorated with tropical flowers and fronds.
Michael took a picture of the guitar, sent it Kruger and asked him to play around with the colors and the motifs.
What emerged from both their work was the lovely Hula Vibe. With its rich but pleasing orange color and the bold hibiscus and fronds, Michael says Hula Vibe combines some of the laid back island life design elements that he loves to play with, but in a new way.
“With Hula Lounge, our original Hula helmet, you had the hibiscus in pink and olive and brown tones, and it was very popular,” Michael says, “so we did it in different colors because everyone loved it.”
By increasing the size of the flower and the fronds and putting them in a bright cream and pairing them with orange, Hula Vibe manages to look entirely different than the old Hula designs, yet still faintly reminiscent of them.
“By playing with just one or two hibiscus and leaves, we’re still telling the ‘island life’ story,” Michael says, “at the same time we’re refreshing that design into something that’s still classic, for us, and also new.”
What’s also new is our budding partnership with the New York-based Black Girls Do Bike, a grass roots movement to support women of color who bike with community and resources. To start with, Nutcase will partner with BGDB to provide helmets to member events; stay tuned for updates on our collaboration!