Rapha ushers in a more affordable range of cycling apparel called, Core.
Carrying on with Rapha’s tradition of simple, understated design, Core has been kept simple and unfussy, with nothing more than color coordinated zippers, logos and the British brand’s signature low-profile left armband.
To keep things at a certain price point, the range uses basic polyester as its main material, along with simple construction and features.
However, Rapha didn’t skimp when in came to padding, as the Core shorts use the same insert as their expensive Classic shorts.
Rapha says, “whoever you are, wherever you ride, Core offers the essentials in performance and functionality. Consisting of a cycling jersey and shorts for men and women, the collection is nothing more and nothing less than the basics, perfectly crafted to set the new standard in everyday ride wear.”
more from Rapha’s Alex Valdman …
What is Rapha Core to you?
The Core collection is about optimizing innovative fabrics and processes to set a new standard for everyday cycling apparel. It’s about making kit that riders could wear when putting in the hours on their bikes. It’s also about us being able to release products that are still at the Rapha standard but which aren’t heavily branded. It’s about the quality, the details, the function, the fit, the fabric, and that’s where the pared-back nature of this collection comes from. But you have to create texture too, otherwise it will be cheap, plain and boring. That was the real challenge – how do you take something that is supposed to be so toned-down but still make it very interesting?
How did you set about achieving this?
I wanted the touch and feel of the garments to be rooted in something quite comfortable but it had to feel like performance wear too. A good example is the gripper: when you touch it you don’t expect it to have such grip. And when you look at the arm band, it has a risen effect and you’re not sure where it comes from. Instead of being external, or exposed, it’s underneath and sewn in a manner where it creates a step, almost like a shadowy, embossed effect. The collection is beautiful – it’s Rapha, it had to be – and I love the way the light shines off the knit structure. It doesn’t have that lustre that Lycra products do. We wanted to make the jerseys look dipped in colour too, and build in layers, because that feels a lot more refined.
Core seems a rather different undertaking for Rapha. Would you agree?
I, like many here at Rapha, thought that this is something which has been missing from our repertoire. We optimised fabrics and processes across the entire collection to reduce production hours and wastage. For example, the leg-gripper trim reappears in the jersey back, the material for the zip guard is used again on the sleeve tips, and bindings use rolled edges.
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