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We’re pleased to be featuring the latest kit from Sydney-based brand, Arenberg, available exclusively at the CyclingTips Emporium for a limited time only.
The name “Arenberg” is familiar to all with an interest in the history of our great sport. The Trouée d’Arenberg (“Trench of Arenberg”) is the roughest of all Paris-Roubaix’s cobblestone sectors and the site of many famous battles in years gone by. Less familiar, but quickly making a name for themselves is Arenberg, a Sydney-based cycling apparel and technology brand.
Founded in 2014, Arenberg is the combination of Chris Gillespie, Chris Flintoft and Patrik Molander. As always with start-up brands, it was the combination of skillsets that enabled Arenberg’s early vision to come to life. We caught up with the trio to talk about the brand and to get a look at their latest kit.
“Working in the creative industry I was always doing side projects whether that be photography, music or arts-based initiatives,” says Chris Gillespie. “Arenberg started as a single kit project with the aim to design a kit that I wanted to wear and could sell to a few to mates.
“Shortly after the first prototype was produced I bumped into an old work colleague Chris Flintoft who trained at the same cycling club. We got talking and quickly started to think about growing the seedling Arenberg brand into something much bigger. We both felt there was opportunity to bring our expertise in the creative and technical space into the cycling industry and to work on innovative products which we believe can change the way we record and share the cycling experience in the future.
“Not long after these discussions Patrik Molander came in as the third partner. Patrik brought the technical know-how to the table and also had been in partnership with Chris for many years already. So between us we had the core skills and experience to develop our ideas and start pulling a team together to make it all happen.”
Whilst Arenberg is a nod to the heritage of the sport, the brand aims to position itself as a performance-orientated modern brand.
“As most keen cyclists will know the Arenberg name is taken from a small town in Northern France on the Belgium border” says Chris Gillespie. “We felt the Arenberg name was a perfect fit for a cycling brand as it’s synonymous with riders being fearless and pushing themselves to the limits.
“With our interests in European design the name also looked and sounded good so it just felt right.”
Arenberg’s styling takes its inspiration from Scandinavian design and typography. And in the age of loud and intricate kit designs, the clean and simple look from the brand is refreshingly appealing.
“Chris Gillespie, our product designer, is from a European background and very much into a minimal design aesthetic. This heritage influences our kit design more than current on-trend styles we are seeing from other brands,” says Chris Flintoft. “We have spent a considerable amount of time prototyping fabric combinations and garment cuts with the factory in Italy, so the fit and performance of the garments are equally as important as the visual style.
“We tend to take the less is more approach and we feel that is a point of differentiation for us.”
While Arenberg is an apparel brand only at this stage, the brand’s vision speaks to something more: “Inspiring cycling community through design and technology”. When asked about it, the trio are intentionally coy, but it’s clear there are some big plans to expand outside the apparel space.
“Our plan from the beginning of the partnership has been to develop two business streams: 1. apparel and 2. Technology,” Chris Flintoft says. “We would class ourselves as a sports tech company although we have had to downplay the technology side of the business until we are in the position to talk about it properly, which we are pleased to say is now not too far away.
“The apparel business, we feel, is a very important part of the business and we will continue to develop this as it’s an integral part of the Arenberg ‘design system’.”
It’s the attention to detail, and an almost clinical approach to both brand and product that intrigues us about Arenberg. We’re excited to see what this intersection between design, technology and cycling apparel will look like.
You can view their latest kit at the Emporium now. It’s available for a strictly limited time only. We’re sure it will be one for the traditional modernist.