Rapha partners with US retailer Outdoor Voices
London-based cycling apparel brand Rapha has teamed up with Outdoor Voices, a US athleisure specialist, to launch a cycling collection specifically designed for women.
Featuring a wind jacket, cargo bib shorts, jerseys, high-waisted shorts, bar bags, socks and a cap with a gap for ponytails, the collection launches this Wednesday (24 June) after nearly a year of development.
The range is for both riders and “recreationalists”, using an earthy colour palette and a terrazzo print to create a collection that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Taking into account feedback from Rapha’s professional women’s team, it incorporates extra pockets for riding essentials, a women’s specific chamois pad and new patterning for a contoured fit.
“Together with OV we set out to achieve a positive and inclusive experience for all women who love cycling, and also break down some of the barriers which can be a bit overwhelming. We wanted to bring everyone along on the journey through the graphics and colours of the range, without compromising on the technical aspects that we are known for,” said Maria Olsson, head of design at Rapha.
Agata Jasinska, from the brand’s design team, further explained the design process in a blog post, saying: “Since the collaboration stemmed from a riding trip in Mallorca, terrazzo floors and walls were an influence from the outset. By creating garments with layers of overlapping fabric and transparent panels, we aimed to recreate the visual effect of terrazzo. The depth of colour and the multi-purpose, utilitarian pocket arrangements make these products different.”
The Outdoor Voices collaboration is touted as one of Rapha’s most hotly anticipated launches of 2020. But the performance brand is also working on a number of new developments for this year, including a completely overhauled eyewear offering and further collabs with LA artist Geoff McFetridge and bike racer Colin Strickland.
Next year, Rapha is also planning to move into mountain bike clothing to “make the most” of its design expertise. Further details will be revealed in due course, however the brand has already announced that it will open a new office in a “mountain biking mecca”.
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