Sarah at Vespertine is making good things happen for ladies that like to make a statement and be seen. She’s out of New York, and is blending high fashion with quality fabrics- traditional and modern alike.
Check out her shop HERE
I got an email from Gregory Klein the other day about some of the projects he’s been working on as of late. They include a few fine kits made by Pactimo, as well as a journal- which you may recognize as similar to the design work he did for the Bike Snob NYC book.
Looking good Gregory!
And for the ladies:
See more, and order the jerseys HERE
You can also pick up his wonderfully done journal through Chronicle Books for $9.95.
Go Means Go received a few items from Chrome recently that we are currently reviewing.
My task has been to review the Chrome Marysia women’s jacket.
My initial reaction in seeing the jacket was that it looked sleek and comfortable. The material is smooth and has a nice feel to it. It is lightweight and packs down to a very small size, which makes it perfect for sunny day turned chilly evening riding. It has some great accents that make it stand out as a cycling specific jacket- though it isn’t so specific that you can’t wear it off the bike. The reflective “CHROME” lettering on the back of the jacket is very low profile and doesn’t look obnoxious in the slightest bit. The back pocket is nice- not too large (too small for a waterbottle) but large enough to carry your gloves, phone, or pocketbook. I’m not a huge fan of the pocket snap- and would prefer a magnetic closure.
As far as fit- I wear a women’s medium. It fits nicely around me, and I can zip it up over my chest fine with a lightweight hoodie underneath. It’s snug in the chest- and as a woman with a 34D it’s nice that it actually zips without being too constraining. Even when riding- the jacket doesn’t constrict in my back or shoulders while zipped. The arms are fairly long on me- which is comfortable for riding, keeping my wrists covered and even with enough room for me to put the cuffs over my knuckles. Women with longer arms will likely be pleased with this feature.
The material used blocks the wind well. It’s lightweight but effective and though it’s water repellent- it’s NOT a rain jacket.
My biggest gripe is that I wish there were different colors. I’d love this in a purple or turquoise.
I wore this jacket to the Resurrection Race afterparty and I got a lot of compliments on it. When riding home after the sun went down- Ryan was chilly with only a sweatshirt and I was comfortable with my hoodie under the Marysia. It seems to vent well, as when climbing the hill home- I wasn’t overheating.
All in all it’s a stylish and functional jacket. I love that it was made in Oakland. I was born and lived many years there. If it were made overseas with the same quality and features, I think that $80 might seem a little high, but it seems very fair when you consider it’s made in the US. Buy you baby a little gift, too. Wholesale blank onesies in solid colors will be a great choice.
Thanks to Chrome for making good shit out of Oakland. Oaktown represent.
I stumbled across a neat little company out of Sebastapool, California and dropped over to their website to see what they had in store.
First, I saw what they call their Traffic Master Jersey. I don’t know what it is, but this might be the first bright yellow jersey that I’d wear without feeling like I needed a helmet mirror and one of those rechargeable air horns. It even has the United States Universal Vehicle Code, §11-1205
I also got a kick out of their Race Number Windbreaker. Can’t seem to part with your race numbers? Put them to good use with one of these..
Yes, they actually use race numbers that YOU send in. I’m sure it’s way more comfortable than a jacket made of old spoke cards…
They have lots more to choose from, but below are some of my favorites. Pick a little somethin’ up HERE.
They also have some neat stuff on their Confections page, including this rad pic of an old Frejus rider…
Good on ya Elevengear.com.
Meet Pedaler. Very nice looking, made in the USA, giving back to the community….
From the site:
Pedaler Clothing is a cycling apparel line developed specifically for the street cyclist. Our goal is to create cycling apparel technical enough to endure the issues associated with a cycling commute or cycling in general, yet stylish enough to be considered street wear.
Each garment is designed for functionality, fashion, riding visibility and fabric sustainability. All garments are and will continue to be manufactured in the United States and all garments are unisex. A percentage of the net profits received from the sales of our garments will be donated to various cycling organizations around the nation, so that we can do our part spreading awareness of cycling issues, furthering pro-cycling legislation, and promoting cycling as an alternative mode of transportation, healthy lifestyle option, and an art and cultural movement. Please look at the “bike info” section of this site for the organizations that we are interested in.
We have a full line ranging from T-shirts to Bags all made in the United States. We have used either sustainable, organic or US made textiles on all of our garments and have placed emphasis on trying to use US sources for all trims and embellishments including our hardware for our bags, our wooden buttons and our reflective logos and accents.
Charge Bikes has launched the website covering their new clothing line by the name of Surface. Their newest effort is aimed at delivering a line of clothing that functions well on the bike and looks good off it. They are offering jackets, hoodies, trousers, and shorts- and I expect more to come as they find their niche.
This is their “Aquaphobic Jacket.” Looking good
They don’t have an online store as of yet, and the website is still in the works, but you can at least check out what they have so far HERE.
There is also a review for their Liquistretch Trousers up on Road.cc
I love seeing the push towards chic cycling clothing. Designers with new ideas and a passion for cycling opening people’s eyes to cycling as something that is fun, sexy, and practical; you can feel good and look good. Nona Varnado is one of these designers, coming onto the scene with some fresh ideas and a new look at women’s cycling clothing. I had the opportunity to talk with Nona about her brand Performance Couture recently, and I’m happy to bring you this little interview with talented designer, cyclist, and world traveler, Nona Varnado.
GO MEANS GO: Tell me a little about how you got involved with clothing design, and how Performance Couture got started.
Nona Varnado: The Performance Couture project really happened because there were two simultaneous obsessions: fashion and cycling. Fashion is an overwhelming field with too much of everything, but as a consumer I almost never found pieces that were exciting aesthetically that could be fully lived in.
When I was working in India I had clothes handmade for me for the first time, out of respect for the local culture. They were traditional Indian garments that I had tailored to my measurements and updated to be slightly more modern/western. It was so exciting to enter a rainbow of colors and textiles, to work with design schemes and the human form. I was already thinking of garments that could work in two worlds: the Indian and American. I was thinking about how clothes could be true and authentic in two different paradigms.
Long before that I’d been a ‘lifestyle’ cyclist in NYC. I’ve been a messenger, a commuter, a racer and a recreational cyclist. Because of existing urban bike culture there’s a huge forward momentum in mens specific design from frames to clothes. Women specific cycling design always seems vaguely offensive to me; as if women who ride only want pepto-pink, easter egg colors or a little floral line art on clothing that is only barely modified from the men’s – and then there’s the usual made in china on extremely not earth friendly materials problems.
People of both genders in the cycling community are lovers of detail and design that unites experience and philosophy. I’m convinced there’s a lot of room for clothing to be a catalyst for good.
GMG: What’s your inspiration in design?
NV: People who have taken a chance, started small and made amazing, practical things that local communities all over the world have embraced. I’m thinking about: local shops like King Kog and Continuum Cycles in NYC; bag makers like R.E.Load, Bagjack, Bagaboo and Fabric Horse; clothing from Outlier and Swrve. Practical things that remind us that good design improves life and stylish things are a daily pleasure that we can feel good about.
As far as straight up fashion design goes, I think the Stella McCartney collection for Adidas and Y3 is something that I always go back to. I love checking out new anatomical design ideas combined with technical fabrics and doing the double check: would this look totally gorgeous? Can I sweat in it?
GMG: Describe the bike you ride most.
NV: Ha! That depends on where I am. I travel a lot and have been at the mercy of the international bike community for the last year. I got lucky in Berlin and San Francisco, but I’m dreaming for the day that I can afford the Dahon Tournado, a full size folding road bike with totally sweet components/styling. At home in NYC I usually ride a beater pink fixie or my long time companion, a Cannondale Cyclocross.
GMG: What’s a typical Sunday ride for you?
NV: In New York the typical ride is always Nyack, a local roadie training loop that’s A LOT more challenging on a track bike. I love taking the train out to the Hamptons and doing some fast miles out to Montauk on the well-maintained rolling roads. It’s a great ride alone or with a group.
GMG: What do you do when you aren’t working on Performance Couture?
NV: Online marketing/development and events management. I’m 29 so I’ve had the good luck of starting my career in the old school way of doing business, but growing up consuming new technology so I tend to work for start-ups who need to create new ways of reaching people. Plus after a certain point employers realize that you’re the creative one who can pull off wild ideas. Now I have to find jobs like that because I’ll never fit in with bean counters!
GMG: Where can people buy Performance Couture?
NV: NonaVarnado.com – the online shop. Buying direct helps me out because setting up local distribution is a very time consuming and expensive process, particularly when small shops can’t afford to keep a large inventory or take a risk on an unknown.
We’re looking for local shops to carry stuff, as it gets picked up it will be listed on the website. So far pushbike SF carries several pieces. They co-sponsored the SF Style Ride, the Performance Couture launch. The plan is to repeat the Style Ride in NYC, DC, Boston and Seattle and hopefully pick up distribution, meet people and have a good time riding around stylishly.
GMG: Where is the clothing made?
NV: Right now everything is made in NYC. I’ve worked with awesome pattern makers and stitchers in California and it’s very possible that any larger production will be moved there.
My feeling with clothing manufacture is that it is important to establish real relationships, to know that workers are being treated fairly, that ethical decisions are being made and production is as local as possible to avoid the pollution of transport. Fashion, even at LVHM levels, is still about 1:1 relationships, particularly when it comes to manufacturing. I think that being forced to start slowly and be flexible about production has made me develop a deep appreciation for individual crafts people and that is not limited to the United States.
I’ve lived in rural Romania, which has a historically strong garment production culture. Look at the tags on your H&M product or indie hemp fiber t-shirt, it is very likely made in Romania (or Bulgaria) with Italian or Scandinavian management. That’s the world we live in and the important thing to me is to be there, to monitor that people are not being taken advantage of, that there is quality and love in the process and the end product.
I’m probably getting decades ahead of myself, but I’ve got family there, so if Performance Couture ever develops a European following, I know where to look for stitchers!
GMG: Do you plan to expand your line to include men’s clothing?
NV: Yes! I’m working on the prototypes for men’s wool shirts/jersey’s. There are a lot of companies doing great stuff with men’s clothes, and I’m not out to duplicate or compete with people who are already doing it. I’ve got a men’s hipster (aka. kidney warmer or cycling belt), but my prototype stitcher accidentally made the men’s samples with the women’s ribbon fasteners… and that kinda killed it. Men need manly, practical details – like the Chrome car buckle. Revised version TBA.
The mens pieces that I would like to expand to (womens as well) require extremely expensive technical fabrics and construction, which is almost impossible for a small operation. If I can survive until next season I want to come out with these awesome rain jackets for both men & women.
GMG: What is your spirit animal? (mine is a possum)
NV: Birds, all kinds. Anything that can flap its wings real fast and take off!
Stay tuned for more designs from Nona and Performance Couture. Men can expect something around Christmas, and the spring 2010 line looks promising as well. Follow the Performance Couture BLOG, the FACEBOOK PAGE and the TWITTER! Also keep your eyes peeled for more Style Rides around the world. Thanks to Nona for her time, and GMG readers can expect a review of some Performance Couture products in the near future.
If you ride enough, you will get caught in the rain. If you’re smart, you were watching the weather and brought a jacket with you. A good jacket, that will keep you dry from the weather outside, but that is ventilated enough that you won’t be soaked from sweat when you get to your destination.
Of course cycling jackets aren’t new. But they are generally bright colors, and may fit pretty snug. That’s great and good if you are going on a long ride, and not going out to dinner, or the bar or club. I won’t argue their effectiveness, but I will say that with the materials available today, a jacket that makes you look like crossing guard more than a fashionable man (or woman) about town isn’t necessary. There are a few companies that have brought products to the market that seem to offer the protection we need, the comfort we desire, and a look we prefer.
Griffin is based in the UK, and has worked on a number of different collaborations with some of the world’s biggest brands and manufacturers, they even one with Charge Bikes.
Here is the
And the Griffin Fixed Jacket:
Griffin also makes trousers, and shirts that look good and are built for action. Much of their clothing is made in either the UK, or Italy. Top notch. Check em out.