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Q&A: Le Col and Bradley Wiggins collaborate for new cycling brand

Joe Robinson
1 Feb 2018

As Wiggins launches his new kit he tells Cyclist why fashion is so important in cycling

Tour de France 2012 champion Sir Bradley Wiggins has partnered up with British cycling apparel brand Le Col to launch his own cycling brand 'Le Col by Wiggins'.

Wiggins, a rider known for his attention to style when racing, will work closely with Le Col founder and former pro Yanto Barker to develop and design a new range that Le Col promises to 'bring his unmistakable style, appealing to all those who want to perform and look their best on the bike.'

Wiggins's decision to team up with Barker presents a new horizon in a friendship that spans 20 years. Both riders lived, trained and raced together as juniors in the Team GB setup.

Barker launched the Le Col brand in 2011 before retiring from professional racing in 2016 to focus on the brand. In its short history, the brand has supplied kit to British-based teams such as Bike Channel-Canyon and Storey Racing.

This collaboration will also see Le Col become kit suppliers for Team Wiggins, ending its partnership with Rapha.

Wiggins's decision to launch a clothing brand should come as no surprise. As an avid collector of vintage cycling jerseys, the cyclist-turned-rower has often emphasised the importance of fashion in cycling, being considered a fashion icon by some.

Ahead of the kit launch, Cyclist caught up with Wiggins to talk through this collaboration with Le Col and why cycling and fashion go hand in hand:

Cyclist: Why is fashion so important in cycling?

Bradley Wiggins: I think it is important to be unique and have your own style in everything you do, to stand out from the crowd and that is no different in cycling.

There is also so much heritage in cycling and the trends that have come and gone over the years. That also coupled with the performance element. 

Cyc: Who is the most stylish rider on the bike of all time? 

BW: There are a few, I think Silvio Martinello, on the track, Patrick Sercu and then people like Franco Ballerini, Andrea Tafi, and Sean Yates. Style so simple but looked so good.

Cyc: What's the coolest pro kit from the past? And the worst?

BW: There are loads of great ones, I collect lots of vintage kits and I love the way the jerseys are made, the materials and the colours.

I think the simple ones have always been the best and as we got in to the 90s and more sponsors got involved kits started to look busy and loose a bit of the style element.

Cyc: Who's got the best kit this season?

BW: Not sure - I will need to have a good look.

Cyc: Style or substance with cycling kit, What do you prefer?

BW: I don’t think you need to compromise and that is certainly what we are trying to achieve with Le Col by Wiggins. We have worked hard on creating new and unique design concepts whilst ensuring they have all the technical aspects required for modern riders.

Cyc: How much involvement did he have in the design of the new Le Col kit?

BW: I have been heavily involved in the design process. We sat down at the start of the process and within a few hours we had come up with some really unique design ideas. Everything I put my name to I like to be heavily involved with and have that level of authenticity.

I have known Yanto for year’s so we share lots of the same ideas in terms of design.

Cyc: What were the 'deal breaker' demands for how it should look? 

BW: I wouldn’t say there were any deal breakers, however, we discussed at length that we didn’t want the designs to be cut and paste from other brands, a vision that was shared by the entire team.

Cyc: What is the greatest style faux pas seen on everyday riders?

BW: Maybe just dressing appropriately to the weather. Nowadays riders of all shapes, sizes and abilities have access to such great kit it is difficult to go wrong.

Cyc: What is the correct sock length? 

BW: It changes over the years, when I first started it was the fashion to wear long socks in the 1990s, and then they started to get shorter in the 2000s.

I ended up wearing black socks and never went back in terms of colour or length really.

Cyc: Would he look into a rowing range with Le Col?

BW: Let’s launch the cycling kit first! I am sure though if Yanto put his mind to it he could diversify into many different areas.

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