The collection is larger than ever and featuring pieces designed for more types of riding than ever. What’s the process you go through to make something like the RECON Micromodal or the Radiator Mesh?
Anything I design starts with the rider: how it needs to perform, what “problem” it needs to address, how it should feel, fit or function. From there, I look at what fabrics and construction are going to get us as close to those rider requirements as possible.
A few examples:
RECON Micromodal was developed around the idea of creating a t-shirt for gravel/exploration or bikepacking. “I want to ride in a super soft t-shirt, but I need pockets”. And there are benefits to cutting the piece to be more tailored like a jersey, where breathability and wicking performance is improved. These were the inspiration for a zipperless jersey that’s made of an incredibly soft modal microfiber yarn. There’s even a carbon thread in it to help with anti-microbial and odor reduction (think multi-day bike packing tours).
Or Radiator Mesh: I need a jersey that works when it’s a billion degrees outside and doesn’t feel like it’s suffocating me. There really was nothing on the market that had true hot weather function. Sure there are mesh jerseys, but all they’re doing is increasing airflow - they’re not providing any benefit in terms of evaporation/cooling. With Polartec Delta we were able to create a jersey that acts much like an ice vest, providing actual evaporative cooling as you ride.
I’ve found that if you’re willing to strip away what’s considered the norm, there’s a lot of room for innovation and better product. It’s what motivates me and why we’ve been able to produce some really unique products over the years. For sure as the collection grows, this makes my job more challenging, but the fundamentals remain, and that’s rider-focused design.