Some might consider the customizeable fabric cover of these bike helmets more stylish than the average plastic shell, but I think they create a new level of forced awkwardness--kind of like when you were a kid and tried to cover up that horrible wool sweater that mom made you wear by wearing an equally horrible black, stonewashed denim jacket in class all day.
Regardless of what I think, these helmets were commissioned by New York City and designed by a team from fuseproject. They sought to make a greener, more stylish and adaptable helmet.
The base of the helmet is a polystyrene shell, which can be customized by your choice of fabric cover. The cover is removeable for storage, cleaning, or when you realize that you look more normal just sucking it up and wearing the helmet.
Personally, I find each cover to be tragically unfashionable, particularly when you consider that the only reason they're being used is to cover up something that is perceived as unfashionable. At least the helmet itself serves an actual function. Perhaps if they offered different choices, these helmets might help your look.
However, even if they were to look more fashionable, as one Yanko commentor astutely pointed out, they present a hazardous upgrade to what is supposed to be a safety device. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute specifically recommends purchasing a smooth, rounded helmet with no snag points. And a big fabric mullet presents quite the snag point. Even if the cover is designed to slip off, it seems that it could still get caught momentarily, possibly causing severe injury.
So I say, back to the drawing board on these helmets, though trendy fashionistas everywhere are likely drueling at the chance to get their hands on one.
Yanko via DesignCrave