A unique collection for Craft Sportswear
For dedicated cyclists and cycling fans, the five Monument races Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Tour of Lombardy represent the finest aspects of professional cycling. Celebrating the drama and mystique of these legendary events, we have designed a unique Monuments collection for Craft Sportswear. A limited edition of singular bike wear, designed for true cycling aficionados.
We began our work with the Monument collection by studying each of the five races closely, trying to find what makes each of them special. Every race has its own charm, as well as its challenges along the way.
The races all have a history of more than 100 years, which makes Craft a comparatively young player in the context. Still, they have had great success in all the recent races and we wanted to capture the essence of each race in a modern way. A way that suits Craft and that doesn’t look too far back in time, but rather captures the feeling that still attracts cycling enthusiasts today.
We chose one picture to illustrate each of the five races, then boiled it down to a symbol. Our next step was to add details along with a visual expression, to get a result neither too obvious nor too far-fetched. We wanted it to be recognizable to the initiated, almost like a secret shared by those who love everything connected to cycling.
Photos by Jered Gruber
La Primavera MILAN - SAN REMO
The first spring classic is Milan-San Remo. The race starts in Milan, immediately heading south, towards the coast. After a steep descent, the course reaches the Mediterranean Sea at halfway point, and continues along the coast, boasting spectacular scenery.
A classic image of Milan-San Remo is when the riders reach the sea, pressing against the steep mountains, with the sea right next to them. Our symbol is a triangle, a simplified picture of the route but also an image of the riders between the rock wall and the sea. Using this symbol, we created a pattern, and applied it to the garment in two different sizes, for dynamics.
Instead of using the full name, we have kept only the initials, MSR, and the year 1907 as details in the design, along with the informal name of the race, La Primavera (the spring). The color palette is made up of light blue shades of the Mediterranean, combined with a light sandstone color from the mountains. For accent color, we chose the red of the Italian flag.
De Ronde TOUR OF FLANDERS
Originally with a strong link to Flemish nationalism, this spring race has grown into something else and is now the pride of Belgium. The Tour of Flanders, popularly referred to as De Ronde, is characterized by cobbled roads and steep climbs, all with their own challenges.
One of the most well-known climbs, and a signature location of the race, is the Muur van Geraardsbergen. Particularly famous is the steep climb to the chapel at the top, the van Kapel Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Oudeberg. Here, the roar of the gathering crowds escorts the contestants up the hill.
The symbol we created for the race is inspired by this part of the race, a plus sign with the characteristic pointy ends of the cross on the chapel. We turned it into a pattern by applying it in two different sizes to the garments. As details we used the initials of the race name in Dutch, RVV (Ronde van Vlaanderen), along with the year 1913 and the nickname, De Ronde.The colors are brown and dark green, taken from the spring fields, waiting to start growing and the narrow, muddy cobblestone passages. Accent color is the yellow of the Flemish flag.
L'enfer du nord PARIS - ROUBAIX
Probably the most recognized race of the five, The Paris–Roubaix is certainly not famous for beautiful weather or smooth asphalt. Instead, poor weather, rough terrain and cobblestones have given this classic race its reputation. It is also often referred to as L’Enfer du Nord (the Hell of the North).
In the design we have used the nickname, the abbreviation P-R and 1896 as details. Paris–Roubaix is certainly synonymous with its cobblestones; even the trophy given to the winner consists of a stone from the course. Thus, the symbol of this race had to be the silhouette of a cobblestone, a pavé.
We created a pattern with the cobblestone square, using it in two different sizes and allowing it to cover the garment. The color palette consists of a cobblestone gray base and a dark spring green from the grass in the fields and the woods, which frames the cobblestones. The blue accent color is taken from the French flag.