Lighted shirt featured in Nike Women’s Run

June 5th, 2015 / By: / Out There

Phototrope, Pauline van Dongen's fashionable alternative to reflective vests, features integrated LED ribbons. Photo: Liselotte Fleur
Phototrope, Pauline van Dongen’s fashionable alternative to reflective vests, features integrated LED ribbons. Photo: Hammond Images. 

Pauline van Dongen has introduced her newest design, “Phototrope, an illuminated running shirt.” During the recent Nike Women’s Run, her team of five runners brightened up the dark streets of Amsterdam during the nighttime 10k race. The team didn’t go unnoticed and was cheered along the way by the crowd, as well as fellow runners.

Incorporating light in textile is a wearable technology concept that has long been a source of interest and inspiration for van Dongen. The new light shirts originated as a follow-up project after the Mesopic Light Jacket. Just like Mesopic, launched in 2013 in collaboration with Philips Research, the new designs feature LED ribbons integrated in the garment, resulting in a design that stands out in a low-light environment.

As a frequent runner herself, van Dongen was not satisfied with wearing an illuminated armband, nor did she like to see people wearing reflective vests. She felt the need to create something better: a shirt that increases your visibility at nighttime while also creating a distinctive look.