Ras El Hanout Sportful jerseys

When we asked Sportful a custom kit we were the worst customers possibile. We didn’t have a clue on what was the result we wanted to achieve and we would have liked to be dressed up at the start of Atlas Mountain Race. Not a good position to put a graphic designer in.

We were not sure about the outcome, but we had some key points in mind and some things we really wanted to avoid instead.

This was our situation when we met Luisa. Luisa is a brand new designer in the Sportful creative department. She typically designs jerseys for special events and limited editions. Just to give you an example, next Tirreno Adriatico race leaders will wear jerseys designed and made by Luisa. Not a very pleasant downgrade going to designing jerseys for Roglic, Sagan and Nibali to Andrea, Federico and Mattia – we figured.

Anyway, here’s what had in mind and shared with Luisa. We basically explained the whole Ras El Hanout spices content and the idea that each one of us would represent a spice of the mix. We would then ideally have three jerseys reflecting our spices base color to start with. Not many other ideas, except the fact we didn’t want to look like a Granfondo team with matchy, loud and not very elegant jerseys. We didn’t want to look like moving billboards crossing the Atlas either. It’s not our style and doesn’t fit to the spirit of the event.

This was how we left Luisa for a couple of days before seeing the incredible Ras El Hanout kit she designed for us.

The concept behind – she said – originated from an analysis of Moroccan garment and fabrics. Being a jersey, Luisa thought it was natural to look for inspiration on different stands of the Souk instead of the spice one. She then turned to the carpets merchant to get some suggestions to start.

Garments were the first option for inspiration. But carpets were the right item to look at.

Luisa did a pretty intensive selection of Moroccan carpets to find a pattern she liked and finally selected this one to be the base of our kit.

This was only the first step, because she wanted to get a three dimensional pattern with a classy and elegant look to work on. Next step was then to generate a vector drawing of the pattern and work on two different versions of it. A positive and a negative one, on which she worked to get a thinner and grungy effect.

On the right: the carpet used for inspiration. Bottom left and center its positive and negative bi-chromatic versions. On top, two inspiration left behind in the process.

It was time to put one on the other and choose colors. Then, she took care of our one and only certainty to have spices color as a base for the kit, selecting two nuances of each and applying them to the two version of the pattern. Putting one pattern on top of the other created the ginger, cumin and turmeric color of the jerseys.

But Luisa wasn’t satisfied with her work yet. To give a common feeling to the three versions, she decided to add a third layer on top. This time the layer is common to all three versions and it’s made by the same pattern declined in light blue. Why light blue? Because it’s one of the key colors in Moroccan culture and architecture. The blue city of Chefchaouen is just the most evident example of this.

The design was then transferred on the printing forms of the Sportful Supergiara Jersey. It’s a gravel specific jersey, designed for long distances and intense off-road adventures. You can see the reflex parts on the shoulders and back to guarantee visibility both day and night time. Furthermore, the seamless mesh fabric of the sleeves and the fit are designed to guarantee a comfortable feeling even when used for long hours, without compromising on aerodynamics. 

The kit will be completed by Supergiara bibshort and accessories. We are still discussing about the final equipment and most likely each of us will have some different items in his Miss Grape bags.

It’s still a work in progress to call it a wrap on apparel. For now we are just super proud of our awesome kits and we can’t wait to wear them at the start line in Marrakesh.

Here in the gallery the awesome result! Thanks Sportful and Luisa for these kit!

Photo credits: Edoardo Civiero

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