“I wanted it to be weird”: Bráulio Amado designs abstract new kits for Rapha

Centring joy and experimentation, Rapha launches a kit that splices together a “huge mix” of processes, from scanning to brushstrokes.

Date
19 August 2022

Hot off the heels of the brand’s last collaboration with Bráulio Amado on its “hugely popular” RCC cap, Rapha has just announced the launch of a complete collection designed by the artist. Full of dynamic brush strokes, scanned materials – and perhaps even the look of intersecting roads – the collection spans flyweight and long sleeve jerseys, plus bib shorts. Buyers will also find cycling socks in the range, kitted out with “some cute little drawings with flowers”, says Bráulio. To get the skinny on this recent collaboration, we caught up with Bráulio and Rapha lead graphic designer Felix Kraus, who collaborated bring this range to life.

One of Bráulio’s main ideas for this new collection was for it to feel like an abstract representation of movement. The artist adds: “I wanted it to be weird and with lots to look at – so that people could cycle through the art and try to figure out what the hell it is. Discovery and movement were my two keywords while designing it.” Though Bráulio is keen to keep people guessing and searching for answers within the graphics, he does reveal the final imagery was a product of experimentation. According to the designer, the result emerged from “chopping a bunch of different abstract things together”. Starting out with brush strokes, Bráulio would scan them, then process everything digitally and scan it again, before “adding more stuff on the computer etc, etc,” the designer recounts. “A huge mix of things!”

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Bráulio Amado: Rapha, Bráulio Amado Collection (Copyright © Rapha / Bráulio Amado, 2022)

This eclecticism is one of the reasons Rapha called on the artist for the collection, giving Bráulio total free rein on the project. “His approach feels very subjective – he depicts in his work what he finds and sees along his way and makes the journey his own,” adds Felix. Closely mirroring Rapha’s own outlook towards cycling (that it’s about more than just getting from A to B), Bráulio’s brilliantly chaotic new kit also depicts all those little “distractions” on the journey that make it more fun.

Fans looking closely over the new kits will find a wealth of graphic detail to discover. From “weird typography” as Bráulio puts it, to a small hidden label on the side of the jerseys which “showcases Bráulio’s cheeky nature when designing”.

Ultimately, Felix summarises: “The concept of the kit was to depict a happy feeling of joy” onto apparel which is often worn when sweating or “suffering while climbing a steep hill”. The complete collection from Bráulio is now available for purchase, exclusively to members of the Rapha Cycling Club, on the brand’s website.

GalleryBráulio Amado: Rapha, Bráulio Amado Collection (Copyright © Rapha / Bráulio Amado, 2022)

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Bráulio Amado: Rapha, Bráulio Amado Collection (Copyright © Rapha / Bráulio Amado, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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