Brompton Oratory jacket & Cycle Wear- Produced & Designed by Blue Associates
Brompton are the leading folding commute bike brand in the world and they wanted to expand their range from one bike with a couple of accessories to include a range of performance commute cycle clothing.
We were approached by Brompton’s head of design to help in the launch of this range and were briefed with designing and producing a men’s semi tailored jacket that had enough key features that it could be worn on the bike but still look smart enough to be worn in social and business scenarios.
Because Brompton are a very â€œEnglishâ€ brand with their bikes still being made in the UK, we decided to replicate this â€œEnglishnessâ€ and developed a fabric using traditional corduroy but with a permanent water resistance allowing the jacket to be worn in bad weather. Breathability was also very important so the fabric we developed could not use a waterproof laminate or coating to stop the rain as this would make the wearer sweat too much when cycling to work. The end result was a traditional corduroy fabric that felt and handled like it was untreated but repelled rain for up to an hour and was 100% permanent. It also allowed the jacket to be machine washed as often as needed.
The design of the jacket was based on a classic three button soft tailored jacket. We used very traditional bellowed patch pockets for storage when on the bike and also gave a nod back to classic British tailoring for sports.
We then started to add the cycle specific details that made the jacket so functional while on the bike. We added a zipped oyster card pocket to the cuff, additional hidden buttons on the lapel and collar so you could fasten the jacket up when it is cold and raining and a hidden high visibility splash guard that neatly packs away inside the jacket to keep the jacket clean if your rear tyre splashes up dirt.
Reflectivity was also paramount so you could be seen when you are on the bike, but all of these details had to be completely hidden so it still looked like a normal jacket when off the bike. We added 3M reflective fold down cuffs and the underside of the lapel and collar was also reflective along with some printed branding on the zip out splash guard.
A zipped security/mp3 pocket was added to the inside of jacket and the back was cut with extra reach by added a classic action back and additional pleats to the lining.
We produced several samples over a period of 2 years for Brompton to test before we finalised the specification and went into production.
The Brompton Oratory jacket launched in 2011 and was nominated for “Design of the year” by the Design Museum.