I’m a cyclist. From the moment I clipped into my first pair of Look pedals and started racing, I was hooked. I have no idea how many miles I’ve logged over the years (and I don’t care to do the math) but I ride a lot. It’s very likely that I will write extensively about cycling on this blog, but for now I want to introduce you to a pretty cool brand that does a lot of things right: quality products, stylish design, exclusive brand identity, community-based marketing… and on and on and on. Rapha is the sort of brand that knows how to draw its inspiration from classic styling (golden age subtext) and then takes ownership of that design movement (legacy). Not only that but Rapha has also managed to concurrently be the official supplier of Team Sky’s uniforms, making it simultaneously the most retro cycling apparel brand and the most technical. That’s a hard hat trick to pull off, but Rapha is pulling it off.
Whether you’re a cyclist yourself or a fan of niche brands (and of brands that manage to maintain their cult status even as they scale), check out what Rapha is doing and how they are doing it. (And if you’re into cycling, you’ll probably want to spend some cash with them too. It’s a given.)
Check Rapha out at Rapha.cc (don’t forget to look for them on Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, and so on.) and look for hashtags. Great social spread, most of it community-driven.
Photos: Daniel Wakefield Pasley and Chris Milliman