Brad Sheehan co-founded and leads the design efforts for the Velocio brand. He answers five questions on the Spring 2015 collection.
Velocio is a year old and its tagline has guided it into existence. How did you look at this differently when piecing together the spring collection? What separates this clothing from other cycling clothing?
My approach has been to focus on the things that matter most and really deal with the challenges of creating a collection that addresses the needs of performance, all day riding. There are many “technologies” out there and you see these leveraged by certain brands. The problem I see with that is that most of them provide very little to no benefit on the road. We’ve tried to steer away from that and focus on the fundamentals, the cut and fit and the aesthetic. It’s a more simplified approach, I think, but the result is refined and simple, yet very much performance-focused.
Yeah, that was an interesting meeting. A bit nerve wracking, for sure. It’s always a little tough presenting a new idea to people, let alone top-level athletes. They’re receptive, but also resistant to changes as it’s something that they’re riding in all the time and know what works for them. So to ask something of them like this, it’s got to be compelling and serve a real purpose. Luckily, after all of the initial laughs, a few gave it a try and saw the benefits.
The thing about this design that I’m proud of most is it’s uncompromising fit, comfort and performance. Sure, you can pee in it, but in the end that’s such a small percentage of the time you’re wearing it — it needed to be a really good bib short first.
This is also a great example of our design philosophy mentioned above… the simplicity of it and the understated aesthetic, with an emphasis on performance. It’s something you really need to try to fully appreciate.
Your friends rib you for a particular style- very clear and clean- how do you incorporate the mess of design, other creative insights and looks that aren’t necessarily your favorite into a collection?
Years and years of practice. It’s a constant process of distilling things down to their most fundamental pieces and refining them. I’m always asking myself, “do we need this?” If not, it’s discarded. With the mountain of options with fabrics, trims, and patterns in apparel, this process can be daunting, but it’s through having a clear set of goals and requirements that we get there. In most cases, it’s being very critical of my own work and sticking to the basic principles of good design.
As a designer there’s always an element of working within an aesthetic that might not be your favorite. It’s part of the job. I’m actually rarely designing for “me”. Rather, I try to apply my style to the project.
Got a favorite piece from this spring? (Clothes don’t read, so no worries on offending them.)
Depends on the weather.
Best ride you’ve done in the last six months?
The weather has been pretty awful this winter. Great for testing, but not for “best rides”. I’d probably say this past weekend. We have excellent roads around my home in New Hampshire – very hilly, quiet and scenic. The weather was in the 70’s and sunny. We did have some epic rides in December on Lanzarote. Short sleeves and palm trees was very good.
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