Rapha reaches beyond cycling with Outdoor Voices collaboration

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Everyone who was over the moon about the collaboration between Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga will be quite keen to hear about the second most exciting collaboration of 2020. The juggernaut of luxury cycling clothing, Rapha, has today released a collection of women’s pieces with the United States-based athletic wear company, Outdoor Voices.

With designs directly inspired by the terrazzo floors of Mallorca, the collection consists of nine pieces: a jersey, a wind jacket, cargo bib shorts, high waisted shorts, a crop top t-shirt, a bar bag, a cap, and socks. This selection of products is for the adventurer, the avid rider, the beginner. It’s a versatile line with an interesting message from Rapha, about the company’s commitment to women in cycling and continuing to push the envelope of who feels welcome in the sport.

>>> Listen to Abby Mickey chat with two of the women behind the collaboration, Maria Olsson and Ger Tierne, in a special episode of Freewheeling:

Outdoor Voices, as a brand, pushes to “Get The World Moving” through its unique line of athletic wear. Before this collaboration they had already made the now-popular “biker short”, a pair of shorts made out of yoga tights material that have made an incredible comeback in the last few years. Outdoor Voices’ clothing, specifically the tights, are designed in the brand’s symbolic single color or in two to three large blocks of color, not unlike Rapha’s approach to design. Outdoor Voices promotes participating in athletic activities from a recreational point of view, something that’s quite the stark change from the typical performance-first approach commonly seen in cycling.

When riding started to shift towards dirt roads and adventures, long days in the saddle alone or with friends, Rapha was quick to jump on the bandwagon and create clothing that assisted in the fun. Their cargo bibs, for one, marked a move towards a different future for cycling, or maybe a step back towards cycling’s roots. Taking it a step farther than just designing the clothing, they also inspired riders to get out there and ride with their various clubhouses across the world, rides such as the Rapha Women’s 100, and supporting cyclists like Alex Howes and Lachlan Morton, who are themselves the very essence of adventure.

Although Outdoor Voices is not as well known as other athletic wear brands around the world, in the United States they are among the better-known brands. They have stores scattered from Austin, Texas to Washington DC,to Los Angeles, California — 11 stores in total. Unfortunately, at the moment Outdoor Voices doesn’t ship worldwide.

As a more international brand than Outdoor Voices, this is an interesting move for Rapha. However, as Rapha continues to expand within the States, this collaboration could open Rapha up to a new customer base.

Truly coincidentally, this new collaboration has arrived at a time when lockdowns are starting to lift and people everywhere are finally able to go on the rides they have been planning since March. Add in that bikes are flying off the shelves and people who hadn’t previously known the love of the open road are finding something that has been missing from their lives.

The line consists of a number of items and in a variety of colours. It’s surprisingly extensive.

The Rapha + Outdoor Voices line includes a lightweight summer-style jersey, available in three options — red, green and lavender — speckled with other colors just like the terrazzo floors and walls in Mallorca, where members of the two brands came together two years ago. The jersey also has a slot behind the pockets perfect for storing the wind jacket, or any extra layers riders don’t want taking up space in their pockets.

Another exciting addition to the line is the handlebar bag, because who knows where the next petrol station is, and snacks are crucial! Much like the biker style shorts that are coming back into style, bum bags — also known as fanny packs — are coming in and they’re coming in hot. The handlebar bag from this collection also converts into a bum bag, and should provide plenty of storage for chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and extra socks.

The collaboration between these two brands is extremely exciting. Together Rapha and Outdoor Voices have seamlessly integrated their two brands, creating a line that speaks to the thrill of riding with friends on dirt roads and laughing so hard you don’t need to do a core workout for days. More of this please, cycling industry.

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