In this Wiggle Interview, we chat with dhb's cycle clothing designer, Tom, about designing the latest dhb Blok range.
Blok has established a great reputation for its bold, unique designs; where does the inspiration come from, for this season?
When I first got my hands on designing the dhb Blok range for SS15, there were lots of great ideas. Some stuck with me and evolved into the designs we have today. Sometimes things aren't quite right for a particular moment in time, but it doesn't mean it never will be - that's good design.
The Prism design was an interpretation of an interlace effect, which occurs when taking photos of a television screen. It didn't fit into that initial range, but formed a start point for SS16.
Our AW17 range is a continuation using the same prints; but this time as colour pops on darker based autumn kits. I took inspiration from US Cyclocross racing, where there's always a huge abundance of colour - Blok was the right collection to push the boundaries we normally see with smaller colour pallets; expanding on this, but still ensuring we created a cohesive collection.
Can you give us any hints about what you're working on now?
The next dhb Blok range, and a completely fresh take on dhb ASV. Blok will feature more 'full on' statement pieces; this time with a nod to pop art; and as for ASV, you will just have to wait and see.
How important is fashion vs. performance in cycle clothing?
They are both extremely important. And thankfully the world of cycling is waking up to the desire for kit that not only performs, but also looks great.
We've seen it across loads of different sports. Each season we learn from the last; refining and improving both the performance and look of our designs.
dhb's Classic collection has really moved on this year; what's the story of the new design?
dhb Classic is a great range, with a slightly more relaxed and heritage feel. It was time to reconsider it in line with all the improvements we've made across the entire dhb range.
The introduction of Breton stripes, and melange fabrics, was an obvious move; to expand the range in a way that retained the essence of Classic, whilst creating a more fashion relevant range.
How long does the design process normally take?
Each range takes around one month to research, design and get underway with the factories. But that is only the start of the journey - refining and testing the products continues on until everything is right; and when you're as determined as we, that can take a long time…
How do you choose which colours to feature?
I love creating colour palettes, and so am always taking in inspiration from everything around me. Seeing what colours other designers are using is important, but I often prefer to trust my gut and create colour palettes that I really believe in.
What's your favourite piece from the entire dhb AW collection and why?
Our new storm jacket within the dhb Aeron collection. It has all the intricate features we felt other jackets didn’t quite have- and its waterproof, breathable with a really spot on fit. I’m one of those cyclists who likes riding in the rain, so the quest for perfect wet weather gear will always been close to my heart.
What's the one thing you never ride without?
Pump or CO2. The last and only time I couldn't find either before heading out for a quick local ride, I took a chance, punctured, then the heavens opened and I endured a miserable 5 mile walk home.
Favourite cycling spot?
The descent down from Lluc in Mallorca - The road surface is amazing, and even a lightweight like me can hurtle through the corners like a pro.