We take our role as curator of the CyclingTips Emporium very seriously. We love finding and sharing with you all the best cycling apparel and accessories from great brands around the world. However, we also realise that our hand-picked collection is just that: a collection hand-picked by us.
To bring a different perspective to the Emporium we’ve handed the keys to Hamish (photograph below) from Kitwatch. We’ve given him the role of guest curator and asked him to share the brands and products he’s loving; brands you may not have heard of before. To start, Kitwatch has lined up a special offer from a very unique brand, brillibrilliant/unicorn (bbuc).
If it wasn’t clear from the name, bbuc is not your typical cycling apparel brand. It involves a group ride called ‘unicorn’, a sponsored cycling team and a hotel called ‘Hotel am Brillantengrund’. Their story is intriguing as their designs are striking.
Hamish caught up with the Austrian brand’s founders, Christian and Marvin, and shares the brand’s story, and why he decided to choose them for his first curator spot.
Words by Kitwatch | Photography by Ron Nott, Stefan Armbruster and Philipp Forstner.
I love so much about bbuc, and it just felt right to feature them as the first brand in the Kitwatch/CT Emporium store. They have a real sense of effortless cool, and a no f**ks attitude. Well not completely no f**ks. Let’s say they care just enough. Enough to value design, have a strong and clear aesthetic and direction, and enough care to make it all about the bike and having fun.
I’ve been following bbuc on Instagram for a couple of years now, and every release of theirs just really intrigues and grabs me. Their designs are unique and they really stand out while being refined and considered. It’s also been a long time since I’ve worn a pink unicorn on my chest and felt this cool.
bbuc (or brillibrilliant/unicorn) first began as “a fun side-project that developed from a Sunday group ride called ‘unicorn’, to the hotel-sponsored cycling team ‘brillibriliant/unicorn racing dream’ (#bburd), which then lead to bbuc,” says Christian, one of the brand’s founders.
bbuc is made up of Christian and Marvin, both based in Vienna, Austria with Christian having roots in Germany and Marvin the Philippines. The pair had grown tired of the professions they found themselves in, decided to quit their day jobs in search of greener pastures, and came across Hotel #ambrillantengrund.
Christian took over artistic direction and Marvin runs operations. From the hotel they run exhibitions and launches (which always look like way too much fun) with up-and-coming artists – like Wendy Jim, who collaborated with them on their Bomber and Denim Jackets.
Their relationship with the Hotel am Brillantengrund runs deeper, as Marvin explains.
“Helga and Hermann are friends of ours. It all started with helping us develop the cuts for our jerseys,” he said. “From there on we were all fascinated with the idea of designing more casual products together. We use pretty functional textiles from Schoeller, (Kitwatch note: if you want great kit, you can do no wrong with Schoeller) and have tweaked the cut for cycling while still keeping a very classic look. Our denim Jacket (Superstretchy) and our Bomberjacket (softshell) is made with Schoeller fabrics and our next line of jerseys will be produced with Schoeller fabrics too.”
bbuc’s latest collection, #outdoordisco “Stands for getting dressed to party in nature. It’s about hovering through the woods, it describes the moving (dancing) shoes of the peloton and that moment when you get blinded by sunbeams that flash through the trees.
“It’s about getting goosebumps when you’re out riding your bike.”
‘Outdoor Disco’ goes with their ‘Fictional Nations Concept™’ which, as Marvin and Christian say, is “a flag-inspired grid that we use to underline the hotel’s claim; ‘Come as a guest, leave as a friend‘. it’s not just a claim, it’s simply true. The hotel is kind of a neutral zone, everybody is a friend. Nationalities, borders and origins don’t make a difference. We try to underline our idea of equality in every room and in our collection #outdoordisco.”
There’s plenty to unveil in the store from bbuc. There’s matching arm screens and water bottles, which I’m a big fan of — nothing like matching your bidons to your kit to take matchy-matchy to another level! Wear a bomber jacket over a kit, or keep it more separate and traditional. Go a little bit wild, have a little bit of fun. I know I will be.